NK leader-military inspection

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected the third military unit in as many days over the weekend, the North's state media reported Monday, as the country ratcheted up military threats against South Korea and the United States.

Kim inspected the Korean People's Army Unit 1501 on Sunday, the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), monitored in Seoul, said.

The KCNA said on Saturday that Kim paid inspection visits to a special forces unit, Unit 1973, on Friday and two battalions belonging to the unit on Saturday.

Kim has been making more frequent visits to military units, including overseeing military drills, since the country started to ramp up threats to launch nuclear counter-attacks on the South and the United States in February.

In March, the two allies conducted a major military drill, which the North denounced as a rehearsal for war, and led international efforts to introduce a United Nations resolution designed to punish the North for its third nuclear test on Feb. 12.

During the Sunday military inspection, Kim "watched latest combat and technical equipment contrived and manufactured by the unit" and "was greatly pleased" by the development of the equipment "badly needed for combat preparations," according to the KCNA English dispatch.

"He indicated superb and preeminent operational and tactical plans to wipe out the enemies at a lightning speed by use of those equipment in actual battles," the news agency quoted Kim as saying.

Kim previously visited the same unit in May last year when he also inspected the unit's combat equipment development and ordered further research and development of high-tech war equipment.

Also on Sunday, Kim visited the construction site for the restaurant boat Taedonggang, according to a separate KCNA report. The 820-ton vessel, being built by the military, is nearly 69 meters in length and 25 meters in width and is capable of accommodating 300 diners, it said.

"It was the lifetime desire of (late) leader Kim Jong-il to let people visit a modern restaurant boat on the Taedong River," the report quoted Kim as saying, adding "He set forth an important task to complete the building of the boat by April 15, the birth anniversary of (founding father) President Kim Il-sung, without fail."

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