On Sunday, it was reported that North Korea conducted a successful tactical nuclear attack drill. According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), they launched two long-range missiles towards the West Sea. These missiles travelled 1500 km at an altitude of 150 meters as planned.
The timing of this simulation on Saturday morning is not a coincidence. According to North Korea’s State-controlled media network, the nuclear attack drill serves as a warning to its enemies asserting its readiness for a probable nuclear war. The enemies referred to here are the United States and South Korea. Last Thursday, these two countries held their annual summertime exercise, the Ulchi Freedom Shield, which included air drills involving B-1B bombers. While the U.S. has not commented on the matter, the unification ministry of the South strongly condemned the North’s open hostility. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at an ASEAN summit also commented that any military cooperation with the North that hinders international peace must be halted.
KCNA reported that North Korea responded to the “confrontation hysteria” by dismissing this display on Thursday, launching two missiles, and referring to it as a rehearsal for war. The recent summit agreement between the two allies, which aims to enhance military cooperation, has also been criticised by Kim Jong-Un.
As a result of these ‘enemies’ strengthening ties, North Korea has been actively taking measures to enhance military deterrence against both the United States and South Korea. The nuclear attack drill on Saturday represents the North's most recent effort in a series of missile tests and military exercises. Last month, they also attempted to launch a spy satellite for the second time this year, but the attempt fell short of success.
However, that is not to say that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is not showing proactive involvement in reinforcing military capabilities. While no date was given, KCNA reported that he visited crucial sites like the Pukjung Machine Complex, known for producing marine engines and vast munitions. With this visit, Pyongyang's priority of strategically strengthening its naval forces is indisputable. KCNA also reported that the leader asserted his commitment to modernising these facilities and developing the shipbuilding industry, saying that a future plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the WPK (Worker's Party of Korea) would take the initiative.
Furthermore, the Head of State visited a training command post wherein he discussed possible war plans, including “making simultaneous super intense strikes” at strategic locations in the South. KCNA also reported that he inspected a naval fleet on the East Coast in August, overlooking a test of strategic cruise missiles on a warship, emphasizing the vessel`s capability to maintain striking power in combat scenarios.
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