North Korea: Missile test in South He trained to attack the United States. | So Good News


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s military said Monday that its recent missile test was a practice of mercilessly striking targets “such as South Korean and U.S. targets such as air bases and operational command systems” with a variety of missiles that contain nuclear weapons. Capacity weapons.

North Korea’s announcement underscored leader Kim Jong Un’s determination to confront his rivals’ push to expand their military exercises. But some experts say Kim has used the exercises as an excuse to modernize his nuclear arsenal and increase his leverage in dealing with Washington and Seoul.

North Korea last week fired dozens of missiles and flew warplanes over the sea – prompting evacuation warnings in parts of South Korea and Japan – in protest at a large-scale U.S.-South Korean air force drill that North Korea views as an invasion exercise.

U.S. and South Korean officials responded by further increasing their joint military exercises and warned North Korea that the use of nuclear weapons would spell the end of Kim Jong-un’s regime.

“The recent related military operations of the Korean People’s Army are a clear answer from (North Korea) that the more aggressive the enemy’s aggressive military activities are, the more the KPA will counterattack them,” the North Korean general said. The military said in a statement released by the state media.

The weapons tests included missiles with underground penetrating warheads intended to attack enemy air bases; Surface-to-air missiles are designed to engage enemy aircraft at different altitudes and ranges. The strategic cruise missiles fell in international waters about 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) from South Korea’s costly southeast city of Ulsan.

North Korea’s military said it also conducted an important test of a special-purpose ballistic missile that crippled the enemy’s operational command system. That could mean developing an electromagnetic attack, but some observers doubt whether North Korea has mastered the key technologies to achieve such a strike capability.

North Korea’s military statement did not specifically say it had launched an intercontinental ballistic missile aimed at hitting the US mainland on Thursday, but its main newspaper published a photo of the ICBM-like weapon used during last week’s test.

Several other North Korean missiles launched last week were short-range nuclear-capable weapons that some experts said were within striking range of key military targets in South Korea, including U.S. military bases there.

Late Monday, South Korea’s military disputed some of North Korea’s accounts of its missile test. Spokesman Kim Jun-rak said South Korea did not see the launch of the North’s cruise missile and did not mention what Seoul assessed as an irregular flight by a North Korean ICBM.

This year’s “Vigilant Storm” Air Force exercise is the largest annual military exercise of the fall. The exercise involved 240 warplanes, including advanced F-35 fighter jets from both countries. The allies were initially scheduled to hold five-day drills, but extended the exercise by another day in response to North Korea’s missile test.

On the final day of air force exercises on Saturday, the US flew two B-1B supersonic bombers over South Korea, the first flyover since December 2017, in a show of force against North Korea.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the B-1B’s participation in the joint drills strongly demonstrates the U.S. commitment to defend its ally with the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear, to respond strongly to North Korean provocations.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-Sup strongly condemned North Korea’s recent missile launch after their annual meeting in Washington, carrying Austin’s warning against any nuclear attack on the US or its allies and partners. It will not be accepted and will lead to the end of the Kim Jong-un government,” he said. South Korea’s military has previously warned North Korea that using its nuclear weapons would put it on a path to self-destruction.

Both chiefs of defense agreed on the need to increase joint exercises and training events to strengthen readiness against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

Ahead of the “Vigilant Storm” drills, North Korea test-fired what it called a nuclear attack on US and South Korean targets, protesting its rival’s other military drills involving US aircraft for the first time. In five years. In September, North Korea adopted a new law on preemption of its nuclear weapons under broad conditions.

South Korean and U.S. officials have maintained that their drills are defensive in nature and have no intention of invading North Korea.

The U.S. and South Korean militaries have been expanding their regular military exercises since the inauguration in May of conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who has vowed to take a tougher stance against North Korea’s provocations. Some of the allies have previously scaled back military exercises or diplomatic support over North Korea’s now-stalled nuclear program or to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

For months, South Korean and U.S. officials have said North Korea is nearing completion of preparations to conduct its first nuclear test in five years. On Monday, South Korea’s Unification Minister Kwon Youngse told lawmakers that North Korea could conduct a nuclear test at any time, but there were no signs that the test was about to explode.

North Korea’s recent weapons tests come as it struggles to overcome pandemic-related difficulties.

Russian officials said last week that they have resumed train service with North Korea after being suspended for more than two and a half years due to the epidemic. Russian Far Eastern Railway spokesmen told state-run media last Wednesday that the first restarted train headed for North Korea would carry 30 pedigree horses, while the next train would carry medicine.

In September, North Korea resumed its freight train service with China, its largest trading partner, ending a five-month suspension.


Associated Press writers Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul and Daria Litvinova in Moscow contributed to this report.


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