Kim Jong Un Shows Off New War Machine

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has participated in military drills with his nation’s troops and told them to prepare for war. The secretive state’s leader appeared to drive a tank at the front of a long line of similar vehicles, which experts describe as a show of strength and a warning to Kim’s foes in South Korea and its ally, the United States. He reportedly told his troops that the tanks were the “world’s most powerful.”

The military demonstration is not new, and Kim Jong Un frequently alerts his soldiers to the possibility of war with the US, which he sees as his arch-enemy. He also warns of conflict with his southern neighbor. Military analysts, however, say the possibility of either war is improbable, and the repeated forewarnings are a tactic by the leader to maintain order and control.

The latest display of firepower comes just days after the US and South Korea conducted joint exercises. The 11-day program, known as Freedom Shield, simulates command post training and field exercises, which Kim considers a rehearsal for the invasion of his country. South Korea and the US will conduct more joint ventures through 2024.

Following the latest North Korean military drill, the official Korean Central News Agency said Kim Jong Un delivered a speech to soldiers, telling them to get ready to respond to provocations from the South, where Jeon Ha Gyu, a spokesperson for the South Korean Defense Ministry, simultaneously told journalists that his country is similarly prepared.

The two nations have had a tumultuous relationship since the end of the Korean War in 1953. They both followed very different political paths, with the North forming a communist state and the South opting for democracy and capitalism. They are physically separated by a demilitarized zone located roughly halfway down the Korean peninsula and measuring approximately 160 miles long and 2.5 miles wide. Kim Jong Un took control of the North in 2011 following his father’s death.