NORTH KOREA: North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, called for the nation to be prepared to conduct nuclear attacks at any moment to avert war, accusing the United States and South Korea of escalating joint military drills involving American nuclear weapons, state media KCNA stated on Monday.
Kim’s comments came as the isolated country held what the state-run news agency KCNA called “war deterrence and nuclear counterattack capability” drills on Saturday and Sunday to send strong warnings to its allies.
KCNA said that a ballistic missile with a fake nuclear warhead went 800 km (497 miles) before hitting a target at an altitude of 800 m (0.5 miles), simulating a tactical nuclear strike.
Kim, who was in charge of the test, said that the drills improved the military’s ability to fight and stressed the importance of keeping the military ready for an “immediate and overwhelming nuclear counterattack.”
“The current situation, in which the enemies’ moves to attack the DPRK are getting more and more clear, makes it urgent for the DPRK to exponentially strengthen its nuclear war deterrence. The DPRK’s nuclear force will strongly stop, control, and manage the enemy’s risky moves and provocations with its high level of war readiness, and it will carry out its important mission without hesitation if anything goes wrong,” he said.
KCNA images showed Kim watching the test, once again with his young daughter, as flames roared from the soaring rocket before hitting the target.
The newest of several recent missile tests, a North Korean short-range ballistic missile, was launched off the east coast of North Korea on Sunday, according to reports from South Korea and Japan.
North Korea is angry about the military drills that South Korea and the United States are doing together. It says that the drills are practised for an invasion against it.
Allies have been doing their annual drills since the beginning of this month. On Sunday, American B-1B strategic bombers took part in air and sea drills.
The South Korean and United States navies and marine corps are ready to start their first significant Ssangyong amphibious landing drills in five years on Monday, which will last for two weeks until April 3.
Last month, the two nations staged tabletop drills to simulate a nuclear assault from North Korea in response to South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s call for increased trust in the United States’ “extended deterrence policy,” which refers to the country’s ability to use military force, particularly nuclear force, to prevent attacks on its allies.
As per the reports, over 1.4 million North Koreans, up from the 800,000 people reported by a state newspaper just two days earlier, have volunteered to enlist or re-enlist in the military to fight against Washington and Seoul.
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