North Korea fired at least six short-range missiles on Thursday, potentially marking the beginning of a series of military displays on both sides of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, according to analysts. State-run media released photos on Friday, showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attending the Hwasong artillery unit’s fire drill on the western front, accompanied by his daughter and military officials.

Kim’s daughter, believed to be named Ju Ae, has recently been seen at major North Korean events alongside her father. State media reported that Kim examined the war response posture of the 8th fire assault company, tasked with striking the enemy’s operational airport on the western front. The missiles were fired into the Yellow Sea during Thursday’s test.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that North Korea had launched a short-range ballistic missile from the Nampo area in the west of the country. Kim instructed the artillery units to be prepared for two missions: “first to deter war and second to take the initiative in war,” and to intensify various simulated drills for real war.

As Pyongyang conducts its winter training, US and South Korean intelligence authorities are monitoring the situation. On Monday, US, South Korean, and United Nations Command forces are set to begin the 11-day Freedom Shield exercises, integrating live exercises with constructive simulations. Concurrently, field training exercises dubbed Warrior Shield will take place. US and South Korean air forces have also been conducting regular air exercises.

Analysts believe that this is only the beginning of a series of provocative tests by North Korea, as tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high. The Kim regime may order more missile firings, attempt a spy satellite launch, demonstrate a solid-fuel engine, or even conduct a nuclear test in response to upcoming defense exercises and summits involving South Korea, Japan, and the US.