North Korea's 'tactical nuclear attack drill' sends a warning to enemies

23:04 02.09.2023

North Korea conducted a simulated "tactical nuclear attack" drill on Saturday, firing two long-range missiles with mock atomic warheads towards the West Sea off the peninsula. The state news agency, KCNA, reported that the drill was carried out to "warn enemies" and demonstrate the country's preparedness in case of a nuclear war. The missiles flew 1,500km at a preset altitude of 150 meters. This drill is the latest in a series of missile tests and military exercises conducted by Pyongyang in recent weeks, including a failed spy satellite launch.

The timing of the drill is significant as it comes just after the joint annual summertime exercises between South Korea and the US, known as Ulchi Freedom Shield, concluded. The exercises featured air drills with B-1B bombers, which North Korea protested by firing two ballistic missiles. North Korea has long denounced these drills as a rehearsal for war.

The South Korean Yonhap news agency expressed skepticism over North Korea's claims of a successful nuclear strike mission, with officials stating that not all of the missiles fired in the drill succeeded. The senior official of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff told Yonhap that an analysis indicated that North Korea's announcement was exaggerated.

In a separate report on Sunday, KCNA announced that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had visited the Pukjung Machine Complex, which produces marine engines, and a major munitions factory. Kim emphasized the importance of strengthening Pyongyang's naval forces and stated that a future plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of Korea would outline plans for modernizing the complex and the shipbuilding industry. The report did not specify the date of his visit.

Kim has been actively involved in military planning and inspections in recent weeks. He visited a training command post where he detailed future war plans that involved "making simultaneous super-intense strikes" at core military posts in South Korea. Kim also visited a naval fleet stationed on the east coast to oversee a test of strategic cruise missiles onboard a warship. He stressed the vessel's striking power for combat situations.

North Korea has been escalating its military deterrence against the US and South Korea and has criticized their summit agreement on improving military cooperation. The firing of the short-range ballistic missiles in a drill simulating a scorched-earth nuclear strike on South Korean targets is a response to the joint military exercises conducted by the US and South Korea. The North Korean People's Army claimed to have correctly carried out its "nuclear strike mission" during the drill. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff called the launches a grave provocation and a breach of UN Security Council resolutions. The missiles were launched from a site around Pyongyang and landed off the peninsula's east coast. The South Korean and US intelligence authorities are currently analyzing the details of the launch.

These missile tests and military drills are part of North Korea's plan to develop new weaponry and modernize its military. Leader Kim Jong Un has been emphasizing the need for improvements to the country's navy, as he believes there is a "danger of a nuclear war" in North Korea's waters.

/ Saturday, September 2, 2023, 11:04 PM /

themes:  Military  War

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