11/25/2019, 10.18
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Kim inspects and alerts troops near the border with the South

The North Korean leader orders target practice. For Seoul, they represent a violation of the inter-Korean military agreement of September 2018. For the dictator, it is the third visit to military posts this month.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has inspected a military unit on the front line this morning on an island north of the maritime border with South Korea and has ordered target practice and shooting drills, reports by Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

On the other side of the border, Seoul expresses regret for the artillery shots fired on Changrin island. The government adds that they represent a violation of the military agreement signed between the two Koreas in September 2018 to avoid tensions along the border.

The islet is located just north of the Northern Limit Line (Nll), formerly the site of bloody naval skirmishes between North and South. The KCNA reports that Kim ordered the soldiers "to establish a well-organized system" to ensure "full readiness to fight at any time ”.

The agency says that the unit "has fully demonstrated its shooting skills, cultivated in its daily training to delight" the leader. However, he did not provide further details such as the type of artillery used, the number of shots fired and in what direction.

It is the first time that Kim has visited the island since he came to power at the end of 2011. The "field inspection" at Changrin represents the leader's third visit to military posts this month. Kim participated in an air show on November 16 and two days later supervised an aircraft landing maneuver exercise, highlighting the need to improve troop readiness in the event of a conflict.

This morning's inspection took place at a time when North Korea urged the United States to abandon a "hostile policy" towards the regime and present an acceptable proposal before the end of the year. The nuclear negotiations are blocked by the second summit between Kim and Donald Trump, when the two leaders failed to reach an agreement on how to combine Pyongyang's denuclearization and Washington's sanctions withdrawal. The two sides held talks last month for the first time since the breakdown in dialogue, but failed to produce tangible progress.

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