Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has overseen a large-scale military exercise of infantry troops and weapons in a show of force that comes at a time of high tension with the United States, the state news agency KCNA reported Tuesday.
During the manoeuvres, Kim urged the troops "to achieve victory in the confrontation with the United States" and "eliminate merciless aggressors should they dare to make a pre-emptive strike", the agency said.
The military exercises which took place along the country`s western coast and were also overseen by senior officers of the People`s Army featured large numbers of tanks and rocket launchers in live fire exercises.
North Korea`s KCTV also reported the war games and emphasised the claim that the US aimed to overthrow the country`s rigid Communist regime.
US President Barack Obama said last week that it would be the internet and not the military or conflict that would bring down the government of North Korea since it would break the isolation to which the country subjects its population.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since the November cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which Washington blamed on Pyongyang over the release of the film "The Interview", a comedy which pokes fun at Kim Jong-un.
Washington this month authorised new sanctions on North Korean organisations and threatened to put the country once again on the list of nations that sponsor terrorism, escalating tensions between the two.
Pyongyang has denied involvement in the cyber attack and in the past months intensified its aggressive rhetoric against the US.