North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the country's navy would become "a component of the state nuclear deterrence" as he visited the service's command, state-run media said Tuesday.
In a speech delivered Sunday commemorating Navy Day which fell the following day, Kim denounced the leaders of Japan, the United States and South Korea as "gang bosses" and stressed the need for the navy to "get prepared to break the enemy's will for war," the official Korean Central News Agency reported.
Earlier this month, the leaders of the three countries agreed to conduct joint military exercises regularly. Kim said their "reckless confrontational moves" made the waters off the Korean Peninsula "the most unstable waters with the danger of a nuclear war."
Pyongyang is believed to be accelerating its efforts to deploy submarine-launched ballistic missiles with strategic nuclear warheads as well as nuclear-equipped underwater drones.
Kim visited the navy command with his wife Ri Sol Ju, sister Kim Yo Jong and daughter Kim Ju Ae, pictures released by KCNA showed.