Sunday, North Korea announced that it had simulated a nuclear missile strike in order to warn the United States of “nuclear war danger.”
State media outlet KCNA described the exercise as a simulation of a “tactical nuclear attack” following the launch of multiple cruise missiles, some of which were armed with dummy nuclear payloads.
The exercises were intended to “warn the enemies of the actual nuclear war threat,” the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea was quoted as saying by KCNA.
According to the statement, the exercises were conducted on Saturday at dawn and involved “two long-range strategic cruise missiles with mock nuclear warheads.”
KCNA added that the simulated nuclear attack was a response to the joint military exercises conducted by the United States and South Korea earlier in the week.
North Korea Accuses United States and South Korea of Unprecedented Recklessness
“The recklessness and dangerous nature of the confrontation hysteria recently betrayed by the United States and gangsters of the so-called ‘Republic of Korea’ are unprecedented in history,” KCNA said, referring to South Korea.
It referenced a “written drill order” issued by the military commission that emphasized the “importance” of the North Korean drill.
“The involved missile sub-unit successfully executed its nuclear strike mission by ensuring that missiles flew along the pattern ‘8’ flight track simulating the distance of 1,500 kilometers (approximately 1 mile) for 7.672 to 7.681 seconds, and that warheads detonated at a predetermined altitude of 150 meters above the target island,” KCNA reported.
“[North Korea’s] nuclear force will strengthen its responsible combat counteraction posture in every way to deter war and preserve peace and stability,” the document added.
Saturday morning at approximately 4:00 a.m. local time, the South Korean military reported detecting several cruise missiles launched by North Korea into the Yellow Sea between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula.
This week, South Korea and the United States began their annual joint military exercises to improve their response to Pyongyang’s threats.
This year, North Korea has already conducted 18 missile tests, compared to only four in 2020 and eight in 2021.
Wednesday marked the live-fire exercises between the United States and South Korea. Commanders from South Korea and the United States stated that the exercises demonstrated “the strongest military alliance in the world.”
The exercise, modeled on a counterattack against invading forces, has not been conducted since 2018 and comes after the US and South Korean presidents pledged to increase military cooperation at a summit in May.