North Korea’s Kim directs cruise missile test as South Korea, US begin drills

The state news agency KCNA of North Korea said on Monday that Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, oversaw a test of strategic cruise missiles as the United States and South Korea kicked off their annual military drills – Reuters (Aug 21) SEOUL.

KCNA stated, without specifying the specific date of his journey, Kim inspected a naval fleet positioned on the eastern coastline in order to supervise the experiment on a military vessel.

KCNA announced that the vessel’s projectile successfully struck its intended objective, further stating that the launch was conducted to authenticate the “military capacity of the vessel and the characteristics of its projectile mechanism”, all the while enhancing the sailors’ proficiency to execute an “offensive operation during real warfare”.

KCNA stated, “The ship commanded by Kim would maintain constant combat preparedness, striking with great power and high mobility.”

The Ministry of Defense of South Korea stated that it detected signs of the launch, although it acknowledged that the claims made by KCNA were exaggerated and not elaborated upon with different facts.

The Ulchi Freedom Shield summer exercises commenced on Monday, conducted jointly by South Korea and the United States, with the objective of strengthening their collaborative actions in countering North Korea’s nuclear and missile challenges, following the recent missile test.

Pyongyang has condemned the military exercises of the allies as a practice for nuclear warfare.

South Korea’s military has stated that this year’s exercises will be the largest ever held, involving tens of thousands of troops from both sides, including some member states of the United Nations.

President Yoon Suk Yeol stated that the drills would include various potential situations, including cyber, terrorism, and drone assaults, as well as a misinformation effort by the North.

Yoon informed a gathering of the National Security Council, “Genuine peace can only be maintained through superior strength, not through unilateral pleading or benevolence.”

We will prepare for and launch preemptive nuclear strikes, but we will retaliate overwhelmingly and immediately to any provocations, provoking a offensive war.

Lawmakers from South Korea have stated that North Korea could potentially test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile or take other military actions in response to the protest by its allies, Japan and the United States, during the summit last week.

Over the past two years, North Korea has been testing what some analysts have said could be nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, showcasing its power to bolster and modernize its naval capabilities, including underwater drone attacks.

The new ship appears to be designed as a vessel-class corvette, with a focus on minimizing radar detection. According to Il Choi, a former navy officer who runs a naval power think tank, the ship can fly missiles that can hit land-based targets and travel more than 1,000 km.

Kim vowed to reinforce the navy’s capabilities in both defensive and offensive underwater and surface means, with the goal of improving combat efficiency and employing modern naval ships, said KCNA.

We would be motivated to promote the modernization of naval equipment and weaponry, which includes the development of powerful warships, as well as the enhancement of underwater and shipboard systems.

Our Criteria: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.