North Korea conducts ‘tactical nuclear attack frill’ in warning to foes
North Korea revealed its execution of a simulated “tactical nuclear attack” exercise involving two long-range missiles, each armed with imitation atomic warheads.
The KCNA news agency reported on Sunday that this drill, which took place on Saturday, was intended to convey a stern warning to potential adversaries, emphasizing the country’s readiness for nuclear conflict and reiterating its commitment to enhance military deterrence against South Korea and the United States.
According to KCNA, the two cruise missiles, carrying mock nuclear payloads, were launched towards the West Sea off the Korean Peninsula, traveling a distance of 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) at a preset altitude of 150 meters. This exercise marks the latest in a series of missile tests and military maneuvers conducted by Pyongyang in recent weeks, including an unsuccessful attempt to launch a spy satellite at the end of last month.
This move follows the conclusion of the joint annual summertime exercises between South Korea and the US, known as Ulchi Freedom Shield, which featured air drills with B-1B bombers and concluded after an 11-day run. North Korea, long critical of these exercises, responded to the deployment of US strategic bombers by launching two ballistic missiles last Thursday.
However, South Korean officials expressed skepticism regarding North Korea’s claims of a successful nuclear strike mission. A senior official from the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated that their analysis indicated that North Korea’s announcement may have been exaggerated, with not all elements of the drill deemed successful.
In a separate report, KCNA disclosed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the Pukjung Machine Complex, a facility responsible for marine engine production, and a major munitions factory. During these visits, Kim emphasized the importance of strengthening Pyongyang’s naval capabilities and hinted at forthcoming modernization efforts and development directions for the shipbuilding industry, to be discussed in a future plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK).
The specific date of Kim’s visits was not disclosed. Furthermore, Kim detailed future war plans during a visit to a training command post, including the strategy of executing “simultaneous super-intense strikes” against core military installations in the South.
Over the past months, North Korea has been intensifying its military deterrence efforts against Washington and Seoul while expressing criticism of last month’s summit agreement between the two nations, aimed at improving military cooperation.