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Tensions on the Korean peninsula festered on Friday as North Korea held its largest-ever military drills and prepared to bring about "the most miserable doom to the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet group of traitors." The drills were said to...

Kim Jong-un carries out 'simulated attack' on South Korean president's official residence

Tensions on the Korean peninsula festered on Friday as North Korea held its largest-ever military drills and prepared to bring about "the most miserable doom to the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet group of traitors." The drills were said to...

Kim Jong-un carries out 'simulated attack' on South Korean president's official residence

Tensions on the Korean peninsula festered on Friday as North Korea held its largest-ever military drills and prepared to bring about "the most miserable doom to the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet group of traitors."

The drills were said to be part of a "simulated attack" on the Blue House, the official residence of South Korean president Park Geun-Hye.

They are also believed to be a furious reaction to mass military demonstrations held by South Korea and the US earlier in March, which regime leader Kim Jong-un perceives as a rehearsal for invasion.

Newly released images by North Korea's state broadcaster show its Supreme Commander - who appears to have put on substantial amounts of weight since he came to power - inspecting soldiers at a massive military parade.

Artillery pieces are seen being fired during a military drill at an unknown location  Photo: KCNA/Reuters

They also show row upon row of the secretive regime's rocket launchers and artillery guns blasting missiles into the air from the coastline, in an apparent bid to deter South Korean forces from attempting to storm the beaches.

It comes as a Korean-American man detained by Pyongyang confessed to stealing military secrets and plotting subversion with the South Koreans.

Kim Dong Chul, who has previously described himself as a naturalised US citizen, was paraded on state media, where he admitted to ""unpardonable espionage" against the regime.

As is often the case with detainees in North Korea, it remains unclear whether he did do under duress.

Artillery pieces are seen lined up along a coast during a military drill at an unknown location  Photo: KCNA/Reuters

"The extraordinary crime I committed was defaming and insulting the republic's highest dignity and its system and spreading false propaganda aimed at breaking down its solidarity," he said, according to Kim Jong-un's state broadcaster, the Korean Central News Agency.

The remarks are strikingly similar to those of detained American student Frederick Otto Warmbier, who was sentenced in March to fifteen years hard labour after committing a "hostile act."

His crime, North Korean officials say, was to steal a sign with a political slogan from his hotel - and have released grainy video footage which they claim is proof Mr Warmbier is guilty.

Shortly after he was arrested, Mr Warmbier also appeared on North Korean state TV, where he issued a tearful apology and begged his captors for forgiveness.

"I committed the crime of taking down a political slogan from the staff holding area of the Yanggakdo International Hotel," he said.

"The aim of my task was to harm the motivation and work ethic of the Korean people. This was a very foolish aim."

Multiple rocket launchers are seen being fired during a military drill at an unknown location  Photo: KCNA/Reuters

He added that stealing the sign was the "worst mistake of his life."

Critics of the regime have pointed out that the footage is too blurry to confirm whether the man stealing the sign in the video is Mr Warmbier.

The White House has since called for his immediate release and accused North Korea of detaining the University of Virginia student for political reasons.

Escape from North Korea: 'How I escaped horrors of life under Kim Jong-il'

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