North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has overseen key military drills simulating attacks on South Korean targets as tensions between the two rivals run high. The special operations exercises were carried out even as Seoul's forces were placed on high alert due to the unstable political climate in the country.
News about the manoeuvres was carried by the North's state-backed outlets but the exact date of the events was not mentioned. Pyongyang has also stayed silent on the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal.
The targets of the North's mock-up attacks include Cheong Wa Dae, the South Korean presidential palace. Kim "guided" the special combat operations as the North Korean troops practised artillery shelling and infiltration.
"Well done, the enemy troops will have no space to hide themselves, far from taking any counteraction," said Kim, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The reclusive leader then added that if the service personnel are to conduct combat actions on the South, they should stage intensive drills, marching, firing, swimming and overcoming natural obstacles under simulated conditions to prepare themselves for guerrilla warfare, the agency said.
All is not well with the current atmosphere in the divided Korean peninsula as the two parties have been engaged in a severe war of words and blame-game in recent weeks. Intense military activities have also been taking place in the region raising tensions.
"We are ready to retaliate if North Korea makes any provocations and we condemn its malicious threat," a South Korean military authority, who was unwilling to be identified, told Reuters.