North Korea conducts nuclear tests, spews rhetoric
North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un has warned that the country must be prepared to conduct nuclear attacks at any time to deter war. The drastic call came in response to the US and South Korea’s joint military drills involving American nuclear assets.
The state-run KCNA media reported today that the North Korean leader spent the weekend overseeing exercises readying their “war deterrence and nuclear counterattack capability.” Kim observed a test and said the drills were necessary to ensure the military was ready for any “immediate and overwhelming nuclear counterattack.”
During the exercises, the North Korean military simulated a tactical nuclear attack and successfully destroyed their target. They launched a ballistic missile equipped with a mock nuclear warhead, flying it 800 kilometres before shooting it down 800 metres above the ground.
Kim warned would-be attackers that he sees their actions as aggression and is readying a nuclear response.
“The present situation, in which the enemies are getting ever more pronounced in their moves for aggression against the DPRK, urgently requires the DPRK to bolster up its nuclear war deterrence exponentially. The nuclear force of the DPRK will strongly deter, control and manage the enemy’s reckless moves and provocations with its high war readiness, and carry out its important mission without hesitation in case of any unwanted situation.”
South Korea and Japan detected the missile tests and reported North Korean short-range ballistic missiles off the east coast on Sunday. The tests were just one in an escalating series of war exercises over the past few weeks.
South Korea and the US have been running air and sea drills using US B-1B strategic bombers since the beginning of the month. North Korea’s leader maintained that what the US and South Korea call military drills are thinly-veiled practice runs at a North Korean invasion.
Kim’s provocative rhetoric has worked though, according to KCNA. They report that over 1.4 million North Koreans have volunteered to join or re-enlist in the military, patriotically doing their part to defend against the perceived threat of Washington DC and South Korea. Two days previously, the statistic was just over half of that number, with 800,000 enlistees.
The US, South Korea, and Japan have all condemned North Korea’s recent missile launches and called for an immediate end to them. However, North Korea has insisted that its missile tests are necessary to develop a credible nuclear deterrent to defend against potential US aggression.
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