Kim orders military to ramp up ‘trustworthy’ artillery production

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the country’s military to increase artillery production, a televised report out of Pyongyang showed Saturday.

The report aired by state-controlled Korean Central Television showed Kim telling defense industry workers on March 17 that their enemies were preparing for war and stressed the need for more “trustworthy” artillery.

“Once the war breaks out, we have to destroy the enemies’ key military locations and government institutions with a quick and sudden strike,” Kim was quoted as saying in a translation by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

“We must absolutely guarantee the quality of our artillery and shells to ensure a rapid pre-emptive attack on our enemies.”

Pyongyang warned foreign embassies on Friday that it would not be able to guarantee their safety in the event of conflict and asked them to consider evacuating staff.

“The current question is not whether, but when a war would break out on the peninsula,” because of the “increasing threat from the United States,” China’s official Xinhua news agency quoted North Korea’s Foreign Ministry as saying.