Kim Jong-un puffed out a cigarette while holding a meeting after firing a long-range gun into the sea near South Korea.
According to the South Korean military, the 38-year-old dictator was smoking a cigarette after North Korea test-fired suspected artillery pieces into the sea.
It comes days after Kim Jong Un called for strengthening the defense capabilities to deal with external threats.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said they detected several flight paths believed to be by North Korean artillery on Sunday morning.
They added that South Korea maintains a solid military readiness in close coordination with the United States amid increased monitoring of North Korea.
Officials expressed concern at a meeting of the national security council that North Korea is upgrading weapons systems that pose a direct threat to South Korea.
And they reaffirmed that they will strictly deal with such efforts by North Korea.
North Korea’s artillery tests attract less outside attention than its missile launches.
However, the forward-deployed long-range cannons pose a serious security threat to South Korea’s densely populated urban area, which is only 40-50 kilometers (25-30 miles) from the border with North Korea. ).
The suspected artillery launches are the latest in a series of North Korean weapons tests this year, in what foreign experts call an attempt to pressure its rivals Washington and D.C. Seoul eases international sanctions on Pyongyang and offers other concessions.
South Korean and U.S. officials recently said that North Korea has nearly completed preparations for its first nuclear test in about five years.
In March, North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland in violation of a moratorium on major missile tests in 2018.
In a speech at a ruling party meeting last week, Kim stressed the need to strengthen the military capabilities of his countries, adding that the current security environment is very serious.
Kims’ speech carried by state media made no mention of the United States or South Korea.
But he still sets out militia missions that must be pursued by the armed forces and his scientists, a hint that he will push ahead with his plans to build high-end weapons.
A possible new North Korean nuclear test would be the seventh nuclear test of its kind.
Some experts believe that North Korea may use the test to build a warhead mounted on a tactical nuclear weapon against targets in South Korea.
Earlier this month, North Korea fired eight ballistic missiles from multiple locations at once amid fears the country was preparing a new nuclear test.
And Kim Jong Un vowed to step up his weapons program this year, boasting that he would “rock the world” with more missile tests.