Kim Jong-un and his daughter
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's daughter (L) accompanied him during the drill. KCNA VIA KNS via AFP/STR

At a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Military Commission on Thursday, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un asked his generals to prepare for the possibility of war, according to local media reports.

This comes days after Kim Jong Un replaced the military's chief of the general staff, Pak Su-il, with General Ri Yong-gil.

According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), several other commanding officers were either dismissed or transferred, while some others were appointed to different positions. The North Korean leader exhorted the military leadership to expand military drills and called for a boost in weapons production.

Kim also asked the army to "more thoroughly gird for a war given the grave political and military situation prevailing in the Korean Peninsula."

"The present situation, in which the hostile forces are getting ever more undisguised in their reckless military confrontation with the DPRK, [Democratic People's Republic of Korea], requires the latter's army to have more positive, proactive, and overwhelming will and thoroughgoing and perfect military readiness for a war," mentioned the KCNA report.

This is not the first time that Kim Jong Un has reshuffled the top military leadership. He often takes these steps to prevent the emergence of another power centre in the country.

North Korea is a highly centralised, one-party totalitarian dictatorship. It has been ruled by one family for decades. Kim Jong Un rules the country with an iron fist and does not shy away from taking extreme steps to ensure that his family's control over the country's governance continues.

It also needs to be noted that Kim Jong Un's call for military drills and war preparedness may be a message for the United States as the latter prepares for military drills with South Korea. The two countries are set to hold military drills between August 21 and 24.

The development has not gone down too well with the North Korean leader, who has threatened to counter the US military moves with the "most overwhelming nuclear force."

Earlier this year, Kim Jong Un issued a statement condemning the military drills, saying that the US and its allies have reached an "extreme red line." It even threatened to turn the peninsula into a "huge war arsenal and a more critical war zone."

South Korea and the United States have increased joint military exercises as North Korea continues to conduct weapon tests despite UN sanctions. In February, North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast as a response to the upcoming US-South Korea military drills.

It said that the intercontinental ballistic missile was test-fired as a warning to the US and South Korea. It also warned of an "unprecedentedly" strong response if the two countries continued with the drills.

"I warn that we will watch every movement of the enemy and take corresponding and very powerful and overwhelming counteraction against its every move hostile to us," North Korea spokeswoman and Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong had said then.

Kim has been displaying his collection of powerful, destructive missiles, which he uses to defend his supremacy. North Korea's capacity to launch nuclear strikes has grown to a stage where there are calls to declare Pyongyang a nuclear weapons state.

Last year, it launched more than 70 ballistic missiles to carry out test launches of its biggest missiles, including banned nuclear-capable intercontinental missiles.

Meanwhile, the North Korean leader has been accused of giving priority to his ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes even as the country starves due to a shortage of food.

Several reports have claimed that a number of North Koreans have been dying of hunger. It is being reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has failed to address the food shortage.