North Korea carried out a “tactical nuclear strike” drill involving two long-range cruise missiles on Saturday, North Korean state media reported on Sunday, while dictator Kim Jong-un inspected shipbuilding and munitions factories.
The North Korean state news agency KCNA said the drill was held early on Saturday to “warn enemies” that the country will be prepared in case of nuclear war, while the Pyongyang regime once again promised to strengthen military deterrence against the United States and South Korea.
The two cruise missiles carrying simulated nuclear warheads they were fired into the western sea of the peninsula and flew 1,500 kilometers at a preset altitude of 150 meters.
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff had said on Saturday that an unspecified number of cruise missiles were fired at around 04:00 (1900 GMT) into the Yellow Sea, and that it was evaluating the characteristics of the missiles.
In a separate statement, the agency KCNA said Kim Jong-un visited the Pukjung Machinery Complex, which produces marine engines, and a major munitions factory to underline the importance of strengthening Pyongyang’s naval forces.
“He stated that a future plenary meeting of the WPK (Labor Party of Korea) Central Committee would set out a major modernization of the complex and the development direction of the shipbuilding industry,” the KCNA statement said. The text did not specify the date of his visit.
The latest missile test came just after the annual summer joint exercises between South Korea and the United States, known as the Ulchi Freedom Shield, concluded on Thursday after 11 days of aerial exercises with B-1B bombers.
North Korea has stepped up its military deterrence against Washington and Seoul and has criticized the agreement reached at a summit between the two countries last month to improve military cooperation.
According to a statement from the agency KCNA Posted on August 21, Kim Jong-un recently visited a naval fleet stationed on the east coast to supervise a test of strategic cruise missiles aboard a warship, stressing that the ship would maintain its attack capability for situations of combat.