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North Korea test-fires two long-range cruise missiles | Weapons News


State media said the tests were another successful display of the country’s growing nuclear capabilities.

North Korea test-fired a pair of long-range strategic cruise missiles, with leader Kim Jong Un hailing another successful display of his country’s tactical nuclear strike capability.

The test took place on Wednesday and was intended to “improve the combat efficiency and power” of cruise missiles deployed to the Korean People’s Army “to operate tactical nuclear weapons.” state media outlet KCNA reported on Thursday morning.

This is the latest in a series of launcher weapons have raised tensions on the divided Korean peninsula and raised concerns that Pyongyang may be about to conduct its first nuclear test in five years.

According to KCNA, the cruise missile flew 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) over the sea, saying the shells hit their intended but unidentified targets.

Emphasizing that the test was another stark warning to its “enemies,” Kim said the country “should continue to expand the operational range of its nuclear strategic armed forces to persevere.” determined to prevent any major military crisis and war crisis at any time and take the full initiative in it,” according to KCNA.

Kim Jong Un in a white coat standing on a hillside watching an explosion in the distance
State media have not regularly reported on the country’s missile launches in recent months, but have produced a large amount of material in recent days about various tests overseen by Kim. . [KCNA via Reuters]

On Monday, state media reported that Kim oversaw two weeks of guided nuclear tactical exercises, including the test of a nuclear weapon. new medium-range ballistic missile (IRBM) was launched over Japan as a protest against recent joint naval exercises by South Korea and the United States involving the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan.

Mistake when removing tests

North Korea’s state media used to regularly report on the country’s weapons testing but has ceased operations in recent months.

Analysts said that while the recent “wave of rampant propaganda” was unbelievable, the tests should not be ignored.

“North Korea’s cruise missiles, air force and tactical nuclear devices are probably far worse than propaganda suggests. But it would be a mistake to dismiss North Korea’s recent weapons test as blind or scary,” Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, wrote in an email.

“Pyongyang’s military threats are a chronic and growing problem for peace and stability in Asia that cannot be ignored. Policymakers in Seoul, Tokyo and Washington should not let domestic politics and other challenges such as Russia’s war in Ukraine prevent them from strengthening international coordination on military deterrence and economic sanctions. “.

North Korea’s cruise missiles are generally of less concern than ballistic weapons because they are not explicitly banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Kim made the purchase of tactical nuclear weapons—- smaller, lighter and designed for use on the battlefield – prioritizing at an important party congress in January 2021 and first testing a “strategic” cruise missile in September of that year.

Analysts say it is the country’s first weapon with a nuclear capability and a worrying development because in the event of a conflict it may not be clear whether it carries a nuclear warhead or information often.

The country revised its nuclear law last month to allow for a pre-emptive strike, with Kim declaring North Korea a “irreversible” nuclear power, effectively ending the possibility of negotiations over its arsenal. gas in this country.

President Joe Biden Announces Latest Update For USA national security strategy on Wednesday but it contains only a single reference to North Korea.

Daniel Russel, the top US diplomat for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said this was remarkable, “not only because it overcame so quickly an existential and persistent threat, but also because it framed the strategy as “seeking sustained diplomacy towards denuclearization “when North Korea has convincingly shown its refusal to negotiate”.

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