Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

North Korean leader tells soldiers to get ready for 'impending conflict' with US

Published on Apr 26, 2014 10:30 AM
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un applauded as he guides the multiple-rocket launching drill of women's sub-units under KPA Unit 851, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 24, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has chided his soldiers, telling them to be ready for "impending conflict with the United States," Pyongyang media reported on Saturday as satellites showed a nuclear test could be near.

The report comes as US President Barack Obama finishes up a two-day visit to South Korea, where he warned the North it faced tougher sanctions if the underground detonation went ahead.

It also comes after Pyongyang claimed it had been holding a young American for two weeks. Pyongyang said late on Friday that it had been holding Miller Matthew Todd, 24, since April 10 because of his "rash behaviour" while passing through immigration.

Mr Kim, the supreme commander of the North's 1.2-million-strong armed forces, often visits military units to deliver on-the-spot "guidance" on ways to strengthen preparedness. He usually lavishes them with praise and presents gifts such as rifles or binoculars as symbols of their vigilance.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!