N. Korea shows off military might in face of "imperialist U.S."

North Korea tries to show its military might 02:53

In Pyongyang, hundreds are nailing down choreography ahead of Friday's meeting of the Worker's Party, the country's only party. In the last meeting 36 years ago, Kim Jong Il was named as the country's next ruler. Now, his son, Kim Jong Un, may be looking to cement his own legacy.

Our second full day in North Korea was carefully curated to show off the country's military might. We were escorted around military monuments and given history lessons about its weapons development program.

A rare peek inside North Korea 01:55

Our visit to a gun-factory-turned-museum was a thinly veiled effort to highlight North Korea's military self-reliance, to send the message that the country makes it own weapons and is packing.

We were told that as a child, former leader Kim Jong Il fired one of the first North Korean-made rifles. His sharpshooter-like aim was presented as historical fact.

"Comrade Kim Jong Il shot three bullets and three of them got bulls eye," our government guide, Cha Yong Mi, told us. "He was seven years old."

The right to develop and bear arms is the government's top priority. With highly publicized nuclear and missile tests, North Korea wants to prove it can defend itself against its so-called enemies, like the United States.

After our tour, we returned to the Yanggakdo Hotel on an island.

Former prisoner in North Korea discusses capt... 03:33

When we're not shooting, we spend a lot of time here working. We're not allowed to leave without our government guides. It was built in the 1980s and outdated technology shows it hasn't changed much since. It was at this hotel that American student Otto Warmbier was caught trying to steal a propaganda poster. In March, the 21-year-old from Ohio was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

We've been treated very well here, with big smiles and a warm welcome. But it's a stark contrast to how North Koreans view the U.S., which they call the "imperialist U.S."

A local op-ed published this week referred to America, saying that "the chieftains of evils are fated to meet a miserable end."

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    Adriana Diaz is a CBS News correspondent based in Chicago and is the anchor of Saturday's edition of the "CBS Weekend News."