According to the state news agency KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw two days of drills “simulating a nuclear counterattack.” These drills included the firing of a ballistic missile carrying a mock nuclear warhead. These drills took place while South Korea and the United States continued their own military exercises.
The agency released photographs showing Kim at the test, once again beside his young daughter, as flames erupted from the ascending missile just before it struck the target. It was stated that during the drills, a ballistic missile that was armed with a simulated nuclear warhead flew for 800 kilometres (497 miles) before striking a target that was located at a height of 800 metres (2,625 feet).
Kim was quoted as saying, using the acronym for the official name of his country, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “The DPRK nuclear force will carry out its important mission without hesitation in case of any unwanted situation,” Kim was quoted as saying, using the acronym for the official name of his country.
The exercises were the fourth show of force to come from Pyongyang in the past week. They took place at the same time as South Korea and the United States staged their own military manoeuvres, known as Freedom Shield. North Korea views these exercises as a dress rehearsal for an invasion and a hostile act.
On Sunday, the two allies conducted drills in the air and on the water that included US B-1B strategic bombers. On Monday, their fleets and marine corps will begin the large-scale Ssangyong amphibious landing exercises that were scheduled to begin on Sunday. The exercises, which are the most extensive in the last five years, will continue for another two weeks, all the way up to April 3.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has been pushing for more confidence in US extended deterrence, which refers to the ability of the US military, particularly its nuclear forces, to prevent attacks on its allies. In response, the United States and South Korea staged tabletop exercises last month that simulated an attack by North Korea using nuclear weapons.
According to what he had to say, “as the intensity of the South Korea-US drills rises, the probability of unanticipated scenarios increases, and as a consequence, physical conflicts between the two countries may take place.”
In the wake of North Korea’s recent nuclear tests, both South Korea and Japan have taken steps to strengthen their security cooperation with one another, putting aside decades’ worth of historical animosity.
As a result of a series of UN sanctions imposed in response to North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, the country is prohibited from conducting ballistic missile tests.
Pyongyang conducted its second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) this year by firing out a Hwasong-17 last week. The Hwasong-17 is Pyongyang’s biggest and most powerful ICBM.
According to the Yonhap news agency in South Korea, the United Nations Security Council is set to conduct an emergency meeting on Monday about the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at the request of the United States and Japan.