North Korea has dialed back its annual winter military exercises since December, and has been carrying out less extensive tests this season, according to a report published Monday.
The regime's military readiness actions have typically taken place from December through March, but started up at a slower pace this season, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The decreased testing may be the result of global sanctions on the country's trade, which allow fewer shipments of oil and refined petroleum products to the island. Both are necessary for these types of tests.
North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un has previously attended these types of military exercises and had attended a winter river-crossing maneuver, artillery exercise, and an air-combat competition. Kim has not been spotted at any exercises this year.
However, Kim instructed North Korean general to "mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles" during a speech earlier this month.
The Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in early February. North and South Korean officials have made progress in recent diplomacy talks, and North Korea will send a delegation to the event.