Our Bureau
02:35 PM, December 2, 2016
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends an artillery drill of the KPA artillery units. Photo Credit: Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

North Korea has conducted a large-scale artillery drill that involved multiple batteries of frontline heavy artillery units, simulating an attack on the South Korean capital and other targets.

The military exercise organized by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un comes after Seoul and Tokyo unveiled fresh unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program.

The military exercise targeted five border islands, as well as “reactionary ruling organs” in Seoul and other cities, the North’s official KCNA news Agency reported today.

The exercise was held on Thursday, just hours after the UN Security Council adopted a new resolution imposing tough sanctions on North Korea following its fifth nuclear test in September.

The UN resolution also capped the North’s annual coal exports, which is its top external revenue source. The move was led by the US and came after three months of tough negotiations with fellow veto-wielding council member China.

“If a war breaks out, such a deadly strike should be inflicted upon the South Korean forces to completely break their will of counteraction at the start and make a clean sweep of them,” KCNA quoted Kim Jong-Un as saying during the artillery drill.

“Nobody and nothing would survive,” the young leader added.

South Korea on Friday unveiled its own sanctions against Pyongyang. It added many individuals and organisations to a blacklist, including those suspected of involvement in the North’s nuclear program. It also blacklisted the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea and two of Kim’s closest aides, Choe Ryong-Hae and Hwang Pyong-So.

South Korea also mentioned the Chinese company Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development, which was placed in September on a US sanctions blacklist for supporting the North’s nuclear program. However, it is first time that Seoul has sanctioned a Chinese firm in connection with North Korea.

The US had accused Dandong Hongxiang of making up a key illicit network supporting North Korea’s weapons proliferation. Japan also toughened its unilateral sanctions, expanding a ban on port calls by vessels that had visited North Korea, and new additions to its blacklist of North Korean individuals and entities.

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