Kim Jong Un has ordered his forces to prepare for an “immediate and overwhelming nuclear counterattack” against “enemies” as he accuses the United States of conducting “aggressive” military exercises with Seoul using nuclear assets.
- On Monday, state media reported that Kim Jong-un called on North Korea to prepare to launch nuclear attacks at any time to deter war.
- Kim said his remarks come in response to the United States and South Korea’s expansion of joint military exercises involving US nuclear assets.
- This weekend, Pyongyang conducted tests of its “war deterrence and nuclear counterattack capability,” firing a ballistic missile equipped with a dummy nuclear warhead.
Military exercises “targeted” by Kim Jong-un at the weekend, which included the launch of a ballistic missile with a dummy nuclear warhead, warning his country of its readiness to launch an “immediate and overwhelming nuclear counterattack”, as the United States and South Korea are ready to do. First amphibious landing exercise in five years.
The North Korean leader was accompanied by his nine-year-old daughter, Kim Ju-ae, during the missile tests – continuing a trend that has led to speculation that the little girl is being lined up to inherit the hereditary kingdom.
The official media of the Korean Central News Agency said, on Monday, that the missile launch and the accompanying military exercises on Saturday and Sunday aim to enhance North Korea’s “war deterrence and nuclear counter-attack capability.”
The agency added that a ballistic missile equipped with a dummy nuclear warhead flew 500 miles during the exercises before hitting a target at an altitude of 800 meters under a tactical nuclear attack scenario.
Kim, who oversaw the test, said the exercise improved the military’s actual war capacity and highlighted the need to ensure its readiness for any “immediate nuclear counter-attack” through such exercises.
Kim Jong Un accompanied by his nine-year-old daughter, Kim Ju Ae, as he watched the missile launch on Sunday
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday monitors what he says is an intercontinental ballistic missile test, which was launched at Pyongyang’s Sunan International Airport.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un witnesses the launch of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from Pyongyang International Airport on Wednesday.
“The current situation, in which enemies are becoming more explicit in their moves of aggression against the DPRK, urgently requires the DPRK to significantly strengthen its nuclear war deterrence,” KCNA quoted him as saying.
Kim was using the abbreviation of his country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The DPRK’s nuclear force will vigorously deter, control and manage the enemy’s reckless moves and provocations with its extreme readiness for war, and will carry out its important mission without hesitation in the event of any unwanted situation,” he added.
Pictures from the Korean Central News Agency showed that Kim attended the test, again with his young daughter, as flames erupted from the flying missile before it hit the target.
South Korea and Japan reported the launch of a North Korean short-range ballistic missile off the east coast on Sunday, the latest in a series of missile tests in recent weeks.
North Korea has reacted harshly to the joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States, describing it as a rehearsal for an invasion against it.
People watch the news at a station in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday
A woman walks past a TV on Sunday showing a newscast with a file of a North Korean missile test
This photo released by the official Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday shows the launch of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at Pyongyang International Airport.
Allies have been carrying out several annual exercises since earlier this month, including air and sea exercises on Sunday using US B-1B strategic bombers.
The US and South Korean navies and marines are scheduled to begin their first large-scale amphibious landing maneuvers in Ssangyong in five years on Monday for two weeks through April 3.
Last month, the two countries held a tabletop exercise simulating a North Korean nuclear attack amid South Korean President Yoon Sok-yol’s push for more confidence in America’s expanded deterrence — its military capacity, especially nuclear forces, to deter attacks on its allies.
In another message, the Korean Central News Agency said that more than 1.4 million North Koreans have volunteered to join or re-enlist in the army to fight against Seoul and Washington, after a state newspaper reported just two days ago that 800,000 people reported that.
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