"It is necessary to conduct field exercises and examinations just like this one: without warning, in harsh conditions, imitating real war, not bound by rules and formalities, in order to use them as a chance to increase the preparedness of the Korean People's Army for war, to examine and harden them", Kim said in a statement, published by the Korean Central News Agency.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a military exercise involving anti-aircraft forces and airborne landing training for sharpshooters, just a day after US and ROK announced they were halting their own drills. KJU said the drill "simulated conditions of real war." pic.twitter.com/xFBtVclGU9— Jesse Johnson (@jljzen) November 17, 2019
On Sunday, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper announced that the United States and South Korea had agreed to hold off the upcoming joint military air exercises in a show of good faith to promote a denuclearisation dialogue with Pyongyang.
After the first US-North Korea summit in June 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he intended to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea, calling them expensive and inappropriate in dialogue with Pyongyang.
The allies have since canceled several drills that North Korea deems as a provocation. The wintertime air exercise in question, code-named Vigilant Ace, was for the first time suspended in 2018.