CNA – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (AFP pic, above) guided recent exercises by nuclear tactical operation units in response to large-scale navy drills by South Korean and United States (US) forces, which escalated regional tensions, KCNA state news agency said yesterday.
Over the past two weeks, North Korea carried out exercises involving ballistic missiles with mock nuclear warheads, KCNA reported, saying it was to deliver a strong message of war deterrence. They were conducted to target enemy airfields and key ports, it added.
“The effectiveness and practical combat capability of our nuclear combat force were fully demonstrated as it stands completely ready to hit and destroy targets at any time from any location,” KCNA said.
“Even though the enemy continues to talk about dialogue and negotiations, we do not have anything to talk about nor do we feel the need to do so,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
KCNA said North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party decided to conduct the drills as an unavoidable response to a large-scale mobilisation of US and South Korean naval forces, including an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine.
North Korea fired two ballistic missiles on Sunday, officials in Seoul and Tokyo said, making it the seventh such launch since September 25.
On October 4, the North test-fired a ballistic missile farther than ever before, flying a missile over Japan for the first time since 2017.
The US and South Korea held joint maritime exercises involving a US aircraft carrier on Friday, a day after the South scrambled fighter jets in reaction to an apparent North Korean aerial bombing drill.