North Korea Leader Meets Top Military Officials Amid Rising Tensions

Kim Jong Un met North Korea’s top military officials to discuss strengthening the country's military capability amid rising US-North Korea tensions, according to The Nikkei.

Benzinga · 12/23/2019 07:44

Kim Jong Un met North Korea’s top military officials to discuss strengthening the country's military capability amid rising US-North Korea tensions, according to The Nikkei.

What Happened

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a meeting with the ruling Workers' Party's Central Military Commission, reported The Nikkei, citing a Sunday report by The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

They met to discuss the steps "to bolster up the overall armed forces of the country ... militarily and politically," the report said.

“Also discussed were important issues for decisive improvement of the overall national defense and core matters for the sustained and accelerated development of military capability for self-defense,” the KCNA report added.

Why It Matters

Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump met three times since 2018 to discuss the denuclearization issues but failed to come to an agreement.

Economic sanctions on North Korea remain in place while Kim suggested another deal to resolve the nuclear issue by the end of the year.

Tensions between the two countries escalated earlier this month as North Korea accused the US in "being keen on earning time instead of making concessions," Reuters reported.

China and Russia submitted a joint proposal to the U.N. Security Council last week, seeking to lift a ban on North Korea exporting statues.

Lifting North Korean sanctions would be the “best plan” to break the deadlock in stalled denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea, China said on Thursday.  

The United States earlier opposed the proposal saying now was not the right time to lift sanctions on North Korea.

The U.S. envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, visited South Korea and China last week and urged Pyongyang to return offers of talks.

Photo Credit: Dan Scavino via Wikimedia