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North Korea says it conducted ‘tactical nuclear’ drills, the first in five years

North Korea says it conducted 'tactical nuclear' drills, the first in five years

North Korea claimed on Monday, October 10, to have simulated strikes “tactical nuclear” the past two weeks. Personally supervised by the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, these shootings are presented as responses to the “military threat” posed, according to Pyongyang, by the United States and its allies.

Seven ballistic missile launches have taken place in the past two weeks. One of these projectiles flew over Japan for the first time since 2017. The international community expects North Korea to carry out a nuclear test soon, which would also be the first in five years.

Simulation of a real war

Faced with this growing threat, the United States, South Korea and Japan have intensified their military cooperation. The three countries have conducted extensive naval and air exercises around the Korean peninsula in recent weeks, including the deployment of the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. But these maneuvers are seen by North Korea as a dress rehearsal for an invasion of its territory.

In response, “Korean People’s Army (KPA) units responsible for the use of tactical nuclear weapons held military exercises from September 25 to October 9 to test and evaluate the nuclear deterrent and counterattack capability of the country”, the official KCNA news agency said on Monday. These ballistic missile launch tests were “the simulation of a real war”she added.

Still according to KCNA, the exercises consisted in particular of a “tactical nuclear warhead loading simulation” aboard a missile that was then launched from a silo under an artificial lake in the northwest of the country on September 25.

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