North Korean troops hold artillery shooting competition – .

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A North Korean flag flies on a pole at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva, October 2, 2014. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse / File Photo

SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Reuters) – North Korea’s mechanized troops held an artillery fire competition this weekend as part of efforts to bolster the country’s defense capabilities, state media reported on Sunday.

The exercises were conducted on Saturday, the official KCNA news agency said, and come as North Korea increasingly complains about what it sees as a double standard where its military activities invite international criticism. that similar exercises conducted by South Korea and the United States generally do not.

Analysts say Pyongyang is seeking to normalize its defense activities, with the goal of ultimately gaining international acceptance for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile arsenals, which have been sanctioned by Security Council resolutions. ‘UN.

Much of North Korea’s large conventional artillery force is deployed along the fortified border with South Korea, where it can reach the densely populated capital of Seoul.

The exercises come “at a time when enthusiasm for intensive training is prevalent throughout the Korean People’s Army (KPA) to usher in a new heyday in strengthening state defense capabilities under the banner of self-defense, ”KCNA reported.

They were supervised by Pak Jong Chon, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau and secretary of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, KCNA said.

Pak is a general long considered a rising star in the country’s powerful military and a major player in his missile program who was promoted to his current posts in September.

General Rim Kwang Il, chief of the general staff of the APK, and commanders of the participating units, observed the exercises with Pak, KCNA said.

“As soon as the firing orders were given by the commanders of the combined units, the guns of the guns to annihilate the enemy shelled the target competitively to hit it accurately,” the report said.

Reporting by Josh Smith Editing by Alistair Bell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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