North Korea conducts massive artillery exercise amid rising tensions

North Korean self-propelled artillery units roll down a Pyongyang street during one of the country's many military parades. (Photo: Stefan Krasowski/Commons)

North Korea put on a massive artillery live-fire drill in the Hermit Kingdom earlier today, performing the show of force as an American nuclear submarine docked in South Korea.

An estimated 300-400 long-range artillery pieces were utilized in the display, which comes as the guided missile submarine USS Michigan arrived at a South Korean port, a deterrent action in response to recent aggressive statements and moves by the North Korean regime.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, citing an anonymous government source, said that the North Korean shelling exercise took place in the Wonsan region and was possibly supervised by Kim Jong-Un himself.

North Korean state media, which notes the drill also took place on the 85th anniversary of the DPRK military’s founding, claimed the military was prepared to take on the United States and South Korea in an effort  “to bring to closure the history of U.S. scheming and nuclear blackmail”.

“There is no limit to the strike power of the People’s Army armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment including various precision and miniaturized nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles,” North Korean state media wrote in an editorial.

The artillery drills prove worrying for the South Korean capital of Seoul, which -like much of the country along the DMZ- is subject to artillery bombardment at any moment. To add to the concern, American forces are scheduled to be holding mock training evacuations for military families in June.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry was not available for comment.

“Our military is closely monitoring the North Korean military’s movement in Wonsan areas and we are firmly maintaining readiness,” the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff informed CNBC.

Meanwhile, American, South Korean and Japanese naval vessels continue to conduct movements near the Korean Peninsula. In DC, the entire US Senate has been called to the White House tomorrow to attend a briefing on North Korea.

President Donald Trump has promised to send an “armada” to respond to DPRK aggression, which North Korea has sworn to destroy.

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