North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has reportedly instructed the country's military to complete preparations for coping with "any military provocation of enemies".
The comments were made amid speculations that North Korea could test-fire strategic missiles if the United States and South Korea go ahead with planned military drills next month.
North Korea has always seen US-North Korea military drills as 'an invasion rehearsal.'
The reclusive leader made the remarks while when chairing a workshop for military commanders and political cadres in here on July 24-27, according to the report by Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
"Commanders and political officers should focus all efforts on completing preparations for actively and offensively coping with any military provocation of enemies," Kim was quoted as saying, according to IANS.
The proposed annual military drills between South Korea and the United States next month will be seen as a key test of Kim's ability to fire up the spirits in the country ravaged by food shortages.
Kim called on all the commanders and political commissars of the Korean People's Army (KPA) to "make redoubled efforts than ever before" to seriously review their overall work, and find ways to overcome shortcomings and deviations and exchange good experiences, KCNA reported.
During the four-day workshop, he accused "hostile forces" of intensifying "frantic and persistent war drills for aggression," calling on the North Korean military troops to devote their lives to protecting the people and their properties.
It was reported earlier this month that the hotline between South Korea and North Korea was restored. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have agreed to improve ties between the two countries. Following the agreement, inter-Korean communication channels were reopened at 10 am on July 27.
Seoul's presidential Blue House and North Korea's state media outlet KCNA have confirmed the news of the restoration of the hotline and stated that the countries will work toward rebuilding trust. The KCNA stated: "The top leaders of the north and the south agreed to make a big stride in recovering the mutual trust and promoting reconciliation by restoring the cut-off inter-Korean communication liaison lines."
Analysts see this as Kim Jong Un's response to holding talks with the US. The hotline was cut in 2020 due to various developments following a failed summit in February 2019, where South Korea mediated between the U.S. and North Korea.