North Korean leader visits a military training base with a “rifle”

North Korean state media on Thursday published photos of leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a major military training base, carrying a rifle, as he urged his army to intensify its training..

Pictures from the official Korean Central News Agency showed Kim wearing a black leather jacket and carrying a rifle, while speaking to soldiers, supervising shooting exercises and inspecting weapons..

The agency reported that Kim asked his army, during his visit to the base located in the country’s western region, to “steadily intensify actual military training aimed at quickly improving its combat capabilities in order to fully prepare for war.”“.

Kim’s inspection visit comes at a time when Seoul and Washington are holding their annual military exercises called “Freedom Shield”, which include field and missile interception exercises, in addition to some live ammunition exercises..

Pyongyang described the exercises as “reckless” and warned its allies that they would pay a “heavy price.”“.

The Central News Agency reported that the soldiers pledged to Kim their “strong loyalty (…) in the sacred struggle for the country’s security.”“.

North Korea considers these joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea as training for an invasion of its territory, and it has conducted military missile tests in the past in response..

Seoul said on Tuesday that its army was fully prepared for any possible provocations from North Korea.

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