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Combat ready? Kim Jong Un inspects troops as North Korea issues new threats

KCNA / KNS via AFP - Getty Images

A picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday shows Kim Jong Un speaking with female members of an artillery unit during his inspection of the landing and anti-landing drills of KPA Large Combined Units 324 and 287 and KPA Navy Combined Unit 597 at an undisclosed location on North Korea's east coast on March 25, 2013.

KCNA via Reuters

Soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) take part in landing and anti-landing drills as Kim Jong Un watches on March 25, 2013.

KCNA via KNS / AFP - Getty Images

Kim Jong Un inspects landing and anti-landing drills at an undisclosed location on North Korea's east coast.

By Alastair Jamieson, Staff writer, NBC News

North Korea stepped up its aggressive rhetoric on Tuesday, ordering its rocket and long-range artillery units to be combat ready and on the “highest alert” and issuing new threats against U.S. bases on Hawaii, Guam and mainland America.

Pyongyang warned that U.S. facilities would be "reduced to ashes and flames the moment the first attack is unleashed," according to a military order issued by the pariah state’s military "supreme command." Read the full story.

Previously on PhotoBlog: Kim Jong Un gets to grips with North Korean army's latest technology

David Guttenfelder / AP

As chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press, David Guttenfelder has had unprecedented access to communist North Korea. Here's a rare look at daily life in the secretive country.

 

The youngest son of Kim Jong Il succeeded his late father in 2011, becoming the third member of his family to rule the unpredictable and reclusive communist state.