North Korea claims it has simulated a nuclear counterattack against South Korea and the US as it fired another missile at the weekend, its fifth of the month.
Kim Jong Un ordered his military to conduct more drills in order to increase the war readiness for his nuclear forces against “aggression” from his enemies, according to state media.
He stated that the exercises had improved his military’s war capabilities and encouraged the military to be ready for any “immediate, overwhelming nuclear counterattack at any time”.
The secretive nation launched the latest launch as the US, South Korea conducted their largest joint military exercises for many years.
According to Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the missile flew approximately 500 miles and was tipped by a fake nuclear warhead.
The weapon’s detonation was described as successful by the manufacturer, who claimed that the device detonated at 800m above sea level at a spot which simulated a major enemy target. This allegedly reaffirmed the weapon’s reliability and its nuclear explosion control devices.
KCNA stated that the exercises of Saturday and Sunday were intended to increase the country’s war deterrence, nuclear counterattack capability, and accused Washington and Seoul for making an “explicit effort to unleash a conflict.”
The short-range missile flew uncharacteristically from a buried silo. Analysts believe this would allow future missiles to be fired without warning and evade outside monitoring.
Pyongyang is working hard to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, ICBMs capable of hitting targets anywhere in the US.
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Yang Uk, a Fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, Seoul, said, “With a silo you can quickly fire off a missile almost instantly.”
You can press a button without launching preparations.
“But silos can be detected using satellite imagery so someone would always be on the lookout for them and they could be incapacitated in pre-emptive strikes.”