North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un reportedly urges the enhancement of the country's nuclear force's capability to the level of becoming ready for an actual "attack" against the enemy.
Kim said the North "cannot actually deter a war with the mere fact that it is a nuclear weapons state," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Monday.
The country could only reach its goals, he added, "when the nuclear force is perfected as a means of actually capable of mounting an attack on the enemy."
Earlier, Kim led two days of military drills "simulating a nuclear counterattack," including the firing of a ballistic missile carrying a mock nuclear warhead.
He expressed "satisfaction" over the weekend drills, which were held to "let relevant units get familiar with the procedures and processes for implementing their tactical nuclear attack missions."
The North Korean leader, meanwhile, upbraided the United States and South Korea for expanding their joint military drills involving American nuclear assets.
The allies have been carrying out a flurry of exercises since the start of the year, including air and sea drills on Sunday involving US B-1B strategic bombers.
The allies launched the most recent of the military drills, dubbed "Freedom Shield 23," last Monday. The 11-day drills are being held on a scale not seen since 2017, featuring field exercises, including amphibious landings.
Pyongyang views the war games as potential rehearsals for the invasion of its territory.
Also on Monday, the KCNA said more than 1.4 million North Koreans had volunteered to join or reenlist in the military to fight against Seoul and Washington, up from some 800,000 reported by a state newspaper just two days before.