North Korea's Kim orders military to accelerate war preparations

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(VOVWORLD) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered its military, the munitions industry and the nuclear weapons sector to accelerate war preparations to counter what he called unprecedented confrontational moves by the US, state media said on Thursday. 

Speaking on the policy directions for the new year at a key meeting of the country's ruling party on Wednesday, Mr. Kim also said Pyongyang would expand strategic cooperation with "anti-imperialist independent" countries, news agency KCNA reported.

He also laid out economic goals for the new year during the meeting, calling it a "decisive year" to accomplish the country's five-year development plan, the report said.

The North has suffered serious food shortages in recent decades, often as a result of natural disasters. International experts have warned that border closures during the COVID-19 pandemic worsened food security.