North Korea conducts nuclear force preparedness drill, sends ‘warning’ to US, South Korea

April 24, 2024 by No Comments

According to local media, North Korea’s missile test on Monday was actually a drill to test nuclear force preparedness. The incident caused alarm in the region after several short-range ballistic missiles were launched and flew approximately 185 miles before falling in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. The main purpose of the drill, however, was to “demonstrate the reliability, superiority, might and diverse means” of the country’s nuclear forces and the Haekbangashoe system that serves as “a clear warning signal to the enemies” of North Korea, according to the Pyongyang Times. The Haekbangashoe system, which means “nuclear trigger,” included the maneuver of troops into a “counterattack posture” that aimed at “substantially strengthening the prompt response capability.” North Korea launched missiles from at least four launch vehicles that delivered a single firing salvo against an island within a 220-mile range, according to local media. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly oversaw the drill, which occurred as the U.S. and South Korea started a combined air force exercise at Kunsan Air Base, which commenced on April 12 and is expected to end April 26. He reportedly likened the weapon system to “the firing of a sniper’s rifle.” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff claimed that any reports of such accuracy or capabilities of its weapons system were likely exaggerated, and that South Korea’s military could detect and intercept any weapons. To combat North Korea’s aggressive pursuit of nuclear preparedness, Washington, Tokyo and Seoul agreed to a system of real-time missile data-sharing, which would allow the three countries to monitor Pyongyang’s launches, according to local reports. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the launch “does not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies,” stressing instead the “destabilizing impact of the DPRK’s illicit weapons program.” Local media accused the two allies of inciting “war fever” in the region that was a “confrontation racket” against the hermit kingdom “with extremely provocative and aggressive nature.” “The event will highlight the readiness by demonstrating lethality in the air domain, and enhancing its ability to deter, defend, and defeat any adversary,” the United States Air Force said in a press release. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters that North Korea launched at least one ballistic missile that flew 155 miles at a maximum altitude of about 30 miles. He also said the missile tests threaten the peace and stability of the region and the international community.North Korea in 2022 declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear weapons state and adopted a doctrine that authorizes the military to launch preemptive nuclear strike if the country’s leadership determines it is under threat, according to local reports. Kim declared that he would never give up any nuclear weapons or negotiate any denuclearization, confirming suspicions that many experts and leaders had held for years.