North Korea fires two cruise missiles as South Korea-US military drills begin

North Korea fired two “strategic cruise missiles” from a submarine in waters off its east coast over the weekend, state media said on Monday, presumably in protest of a regular South Korea-US combined military practise set to begin this week.

According to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the missiles were launched from 8.24 Yongung in waters around Kyongpho Bay in the East Sea during an underwater launching rehearsal performed at daybreak Sunday. “The drill proved the weapon system’s reliability and examined the underwater-to-surface offensive operations of submarine units, which comprise one of the other important forces of the DPRK nuclear deterrent,” informed KCNA.

After “riding the 1,500 km-long eight-shaped flight circles for 7,563 to 7,575 seconds,” the missiles precisely targeted pre-programmed targets in the East Sea.

“The drill…verified the current operation posture of nuclear war deterrence means in various spaces,” according to the KCNA.

Earlier in the day, South Korea’s military claimed it detected an unidentified missile launched from a submarine on Sunday morning in waters off the North’s eastern coastline city of Sinpo. It did not immediately disclose any additional information.

“Our military is maintaining a full preparedness posture in close cooperation with the United States,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated in a text message to reporters.

The latest launch occurred on the eve of the huge Freedom Shield drill, which begins on Monday. The exercise has been condemned by the North as “preparations for a war of aggression” against it.

According to the KCNA, at a critical military summit presided over by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the North determined to adopt “important, realistic” measures for the “offensive employment” of war deterrents.

North Korea was widely expected to conduct weapons tests in conjunction with the partners’ combined military drills, which Pyongyang has long decried as a dress rehearsal for an invasion.

Earlier this week, North Korea chose to take “important, practical” measures for the “offensive use” of war deterrents, as the United States and South Korea prepare to conduct their joint military exercise, according to Yonhap News Agency.

According to KCNA, the decision was made at an extended meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea’s Central Military Committee, which was presided over by leader Kim Jong-un.

The Freedom Shield (FS) exercise, which will last 11 days, will begin Monday in Washington and Seoul, coupled with the Warrior Shield, a large-scale field manoeuvre.

The post North Korea fires two cruise missiles as South Korea-US military drills begin appeared first on News24 English.

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