May 5 (UPI) — Kim Jong Un visited two North Korea military units near the maritime border with the South on its western coast, according to state media on Friday.
The visit marks the first military-related appearance Kim has made since April 25, when the country observed the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army.
Conventional military drills were held last week during the anniversary, as Pyongyang chose to stay away from a major nuclear provocation in the face of increased Chinese and U.S. pressure.
Kim’s visit to the military units reported Friday demonstrated a similar motive: signaling a readiness to fight, while steering clear of weapons tests condemned as “very bad” by U.S. President Donald Trump, Yonhap reported.
Trump has been taking a wide-ranging approach to North Korea, and recently expressed an interest in meeting with Kim in the right circumstances.
It was not clear whether North Korea was taking stock of their options.
According to Pyongyang’s state-owned news agency KCNA, Kim inspected the two military units on Jangjae and Mu isles, near South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, which North Korea bombarded in 2010.
Kim “acquainted and examined the plan for fire strike of the newly organized forces at the objects of the enemy,” according to the North Korean report.
South Korea has said the North retains rocket artillery systems with the units, including the weapons that were used to attack the South Korean island seven years ago.
The visit from Kim is being reported several days after CIA director Mike Pompeo visited Yeonpyeong with Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, and other U.S. and South Korea officials.