"Comprehensive political and ideological preparation, as well as physical and technical, is essential ... [The drills] have to be close to real combat conditions. So we can be ready for any military operation or mission", Kim said during his visit, as quoted by the Korean Central News Agency.
The Changrin islet is located just 45 kilometres (28 miles) away from Seoul-controlled territory. The area has seen several clashes between North and South Korea in the past. In March 2010, the Cheonan warship sank off of South Korea's west coast, claiming the lives of 46 servicemen, with Seoul blaming the tragedy on North Korea.
The current combat readiness drill ordered by the North Korean leader is not the first this month. On November 18, Kim stressed the necessity of wartime preparations during his visit to an exercise of sharpshooter units of the North Korean air force and air defence. On 16 November, he observed military exercises involving flight commanders and pilots from the country’s air and anti-aircraft force.
Military drills held on the Korean Peninsula have been one of the obstacles in the denuclearisation dialogue between North Korea and the United States.