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N. Korea’s Kim Calls for ‘Epochal Change’ in War Preparations

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for an “epochal change” in war preparations by achieving arsenal production targets during his inspection of a tactical missile system, state media reported Wednesday.

It comes as analysts say the nuclear-armed North could be testing and ramping up production of artillery and cruise missiles before sending them to Russia for use in Ukraine.

During his inspection of the tactical missile weapons system on Tuesday, Kim expressed “great satisfaction over the production results registered by the defence industrial enterprises” this year, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch.

Kim “particularly stressed the need to bring about an epochal change in the preparations of the KPA for war by carrying out the munitions production plans for 2024 without fail,” it added.

Missile launchers produced so far this year are intended for military units in the country’s west, KCNA said.

The largely isolated country has recently bolstered military ties with Russia, and Pyongyang thanked Moscow last month for using its UN Security Council veto to block the renewal of a panel of UN experts that monitored international weapons sanctions on Kim’s regime.

South Korea and the United States have accused North Korea of supplying weapons to Russia, despite UN sanctions banning such a move.

Inter-Korean relations are at one of their lowest points in years, with Pyongyang declaring South Korea its “principal enemy.”  It has jettisoned agencies dedicated to reunification and threatened war over “even 0.001 mm” of territorial infringement.

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