Seoul, Dec 2: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un flagged off the winter military exercises of the People's Army which will include simulation of a real war, the country's state-controlled media reported on Tuesday.
North Korea's People's Army of more than one million soldiers undertakes these exercises every year from December to March.
During his meeting with soldiers from Unit 963, Kim gave instructions to undertake several intensive war games, which includes simulating conditions of an actual armed conflict, according to KCNA.
The North Korean leader insisted that the soldiers needed to be in good physical shape for hand-to-hand combat, while also having proper control over their weapons and called for intense firing exercises.
The winter manoeuvres come during a moment of relative tension in the region.
Last month, South Korea had conducted its annual military exercises lasting 12 days in which 330,000 soldiers were mobilised.
North Korea strongly criticised its neighbour, calling its war games an act of provocation.
North and South Korea continue to be technically at war since the armistice which ended the Korean War (1950-53) was never replaced by a definitive peace treaty.
Tensions have also risen during the last few weeks, with nuclear threats from Pyongyang,following the UN General Assembly resolution seeking to try the North Korean regime at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.