North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly ordered an expansion of an artillery test site located near the nation's capital of Pyongyang. The move came as the chairman has sought to strengthen his commitment to being prepared for a hypothetical attack against neighboring South Korea.
According to Daily NK, a source claimed that the orders were delivered earlier this month to the General Artillery Shooting Range.
"The order instructed military construction brigades to join forces and expand the shooting site to give it a technical and geographical upgrade," the insider claimed.
The source added that the purpose of the new directive was to have more South Korean territory in range in the case Kim wanted to launch an attack. Another alleged reason was the desire to produce and test new types of weapons.
"In line with the Supreme Commander's goal of having the Korean People's Army destroy the strongholds of the enemy with a range of artillery and firepower, [this project] is aimed at producing a greater amount of new artillery weapons and testing them," the insider claimed.
Kim reportedly wanted the project to be completed by October 10, which has resulted in a scramble to build the new facilities. In addition to two battalions being assigned to the project, leadership, staff at the artillery range, and even troops' families have started to work on the directive.
October 10 is the 75th anniversary of the communist party's establishment, meaning that there is likely no flexibility in the timeline.
The order may soon face some problems. Many farmers and other residents in the area are seeing their land and homes seized by the government to make way for the artillery range.
"The sudden order to expand the shooting range led to an announcement that private homes and strawberry fields within a designated area will be razed," the individual explained.
"Demolition teams are currently knocking down houses with bulldozers," the insider continued
The source added that locals have had to store their belongings in state-owned warehouses and move in with relatives.
Though North Korea reportedly promised to give residents new homes and farms, some suspect that they will receive less farmland than they previously owned.
The new directive comes amidst rumors of a major famine in North Korea, with residents of Pyongyang having gone without food rations for more than three months. The situation has reportedly become so dire that the military is ordering troops and their families to breed rabbits as a food source, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.