NORTH KOREA: On Monday, state media reported that North Korea had test-fired two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine just hours before major joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea were set to begin.
The weapons were fired Sunday morning from waters near the city of Sinpo on the east coast, the KCNA news agency said. Although the South Korean military detected the launch of a single unspecified missile, they did not give further details.
KCNA, on the other hand, said the drill was a success because the missiles hit their targets in the water off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea has warned against these kinds of drills because it sees them as a practise for an invasion. The country’s nuclear program and missile systems are claimed to be for self-defence purposes.
“The US imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces are getting ever more obvious in their military operations against the DPRK,” said the KCNA report about Sunday’s missile launch. The abbreviation for North Korea’s official name is DPRK.
“The exercise confirmed the current operational posture of the nuclear war deterrence mechanisms in multiple spaces,” according to the news agency.
Additionally, North Korea’s foreign ministry issued a statement accusing the United States of planning to call a UN Security Council meeting on human rights in the country to coincide with the joint manoeuvres.
According to KCNA, the ministry said, “The DPRK bitterly denounces the US’s vicious ‘human rights’ racket as the most intensive expression of its hostile policy towards the DPRK and categorically rejects it.”
The US-South Korea drills, known as Freedom Shield, are scheduled to start on Monday and last at least 10 days. According to the partners, the exercises’ main focus will be on the “changing security environment” brought on by North Korea’s escalating hostility.
In a rare move, the Seoul military announced earlier this month that it was carrying out “Teak Knife” military exercises with Washington’s special forces. Ahead of Freedom Shield, the exercises are trying to figure out how to hit North Korea’s most important facilities with pinpoint accuracy.
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