In the midst of tensions, North Korea approves new frontline army responsibilities

North Korea has stepped up its nuclear arsenal to overwhelm hostile forces, where military leaders adopted unspecified new operational duties for frontline army units . North Korea has not released the new operational roles for frontline army units, but analysts believe it could be planning to deploy battlefield nuclear weapons targeting rival South Korea along their border .

SEOUL (Serbia) — At a crucial meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stepped up his nuclear arsenal to overwhelm hostile forces, where military leaders adopted unspecified new operational duties for frontline army units.According to state media, members of the ruling Workers Party's Central Military Commission voted to extend a vital military action plan on the duties of frontline troops and further strengthen the country's nuclear war deterrent.North Korea hasn't released the new operational roles for frontline army units, but analysts believe it could be planning to deploy battlefield nuclear weapons targeting rival South Korea along their troubled border.While North Korea's effort to produce nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that can reach the US mainland is receiving a lot of international attention, it is also developing a variety of nuclear-capable, short-range missiles that can threaten South Korea.

To deter aggression from the North, about 28,500 US troops are stationed in the South.Kim urged his entire army to go all out in carrying out the plans to strengthen the nation's military muscle and improve its strong self-defense capabilities for defeating any hostile forces and thus faithfully safeguard the great nation's reputation during the three-day meeting that ended Thursday.According to North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency, the commissions members discussed ways to develop the party's leadership over the entire armed forces and approved proposals for unspecified changes in military organizational structures.According to some experts, North Koreas proposed plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to frontline artillery units may require command-and-control modifications as the army's strategic force has so far treated the country's nuclear-capable arms.

North Korea claimed to have detonated a thermonuclear weapon that could be tipped on its intercontinental ballistic missiles at the meeting, which came at a time when it was showing signs of preparations for its first nuclear test explosion since September 2017.Experts claim that North Korea may use its next nuclear test to reveal that it has the capability to build a small nuclear warhead for use with its short-range missiles or other weapons it recently tested, including a reportedly hypersonic missile and a long-range cruise missile.For the Norths' stated quest for a multiwarhead ICBM, it would also require smaller warheads.Although North Korean reports of the meeting did not mention plans for a nuclear test, a South Korean government spokeswoman said Seoul is keeping an eye on them.

North Korea has already set an annual record in ballistic tests since the first half of 2022, launching 30 missiles, including the first tests involving intercontinental ballistic missiles in nearly five years.Kim has continued to punctuate his latest experiments with remarks that North Korea will use its nuclear weapons proactively when threatened or provoked, which experts agree may indicate a multi-layered nuclear strategy that may spark more tensions among neighbors.In recent years, South Korea has been clamoring to increase its conventional weapons arsenal, but some analysts believe the country has no concrete way to counter Kim's growing nuclear arsenal.Although the Biden administration has reiterated its commitment to defend allies South Korea and Japan with its full range of military capabilities, including nuclear, there are fears in Seoul that Kims ICBMs could make the US more resistant in the event of another conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea's alleged intention to deploy battlefield nuclear weapons at frontline troops had been predicted since April, when Kim supervised a demonstration of a new short-range missile that state media said would dramatically increase the firepower of frontline artillery units and improve the effectiveness of tactical nukes' operation.According to experts, North Korea's unusually rapid testing program this year underscores Kims dual intention to expand his arsenal and pressure Washington to restart long-stalled nuclear diplomacy.Since early 2019, talks have stalled because of differences in the exchange of the lifting of crippling US-led sanctions on the North and the North's disarmament attempts.Kim has stated that he does not intend to completely give up an arsenal he believes to be his greatest hope of survival.