Updated March 20th, 2024 at 14:38 IST

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un drives 'World's Most Powerful' tank model during military drills

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un participates in tank training exercises, driving one of the new tank models and offering encouragement to troops.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Kim Jong Un driving 'World's Most Powerful' tank | Image:AP
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Pyongyang: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un recently made a notable appearance in tank training exercises, taking a hands-on approach by driving one of the new tank models, as reported by state media on Thursday. This marks his third observation of military exercises during the South Korean-U.S. drills, which Pyongyang perceives as invasion rehearsals.  

During the tank drills, Kim Jong Un offered words of encouragement to the troops, praising the new tank model as "the world's most powerful." He emphasized the importance of high morale among the soldiers and urged them to remain prepared for any potential conflict, according to the Korean Central News Agency. The inclusion of a missile launch tube on the tank revealed through images released by North Korea, underscores its advanced capabilities.  

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Concerns surround North Korea's military intentions  

The recent warning from the North's Defense Ministry of "responsible military activities" in response to the South Korea-U.S. drills has heightened concerns about escalating tensions in the region. Analysts express apprehension over North Korea's increasingly assertive stance and the potential ramifications for regional stability.  

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Kim Jong Un's recent declaration to revise the constitution, abandoning the pursuit of peaceful unification with South Korea and designating it as the "invariable principal enemy," signals a significant strategic shift. Observers speculate on North Korea's motives, suggesting that Kim may seek to leverage his country's upgraded arsenal to negotiate concessions from the U.S. and alleviate international sanctions.

Credit- AP

Meanwhile, North Korea successfully tested a solid-fuel engine for a new type of intermediate-range missile with hypersonic capability that could potentially hit the US territory of Guam. The ground test of the solid-fuel engine was overseen by Kim Jong Un on Tuesday. The test took place at Sohae satellite launch station near the country’s west coast. Furthermore, the developments come just a day after Kim oversaw a live fire drill of “super-large” multiple rocket launchers which are said to be nuclear-capable and designed to target the South Korean capital Seoul. As the South Korea-U.S. training exercises conclude, uncertainties persist regarding North Korea's military intentions and the broader implications of Kim Jong Un's strategic manoeuvres. The international community remains vigilant as tensions continue to simmer on the Korean Peninsula. 

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Published March 20th, 2024 at 14:38 IST