Mon. Nov 28th, 2022
N Korea slams US-S Korea exercises, vows 'merciless'

North Korea has revealed photographs of its latest missile launches, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), while condemning recent military exercises between South Korea and the United States as a “open provocation and deadly war practice” to which it had to react.

North Korea will continue to respond to military exercises by South Korea and the United States with “sustained, resolute, and overwhelming practical military measures,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Monday, citing a statement from the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army.

N Korea slams US-S Korea exercises, vows 'merciless' reaction

North Korea launched numerous missiles this week, including a probable failed intercontinental ballistic missile, cruise missiles, and hundreds of artillery rounds, while South Korea and the United States extended their Vigilant Storm air exercises from five to six days in response to Pyongyang’s tests.

According to the KCNA article, the North Korean military described the drills as a “open provocation designed to purposely escalate tensions” and a “dangerous war simulation of a very high hostile type.”

Hundreds of American and South Korean aircraft, including B-1B bombers, participated in Operation Vigilant Storm.

It was the first time since December 2017 that B-1Bs have flown to the Korean peninsula.

KCNA said that North Korea’s army simulated many strikes on enemy air bases, planes, and a key South Korean city in order to “crush the enemies’ incessant war hysteria.” It was not specified if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the launches.

It acknowledged launching two allegedly nuclear-capable “strategic” cruise missiles on November 2 into the seas near the southeastern South Korean city of Ulsan.

One of the missiles landed 26 kilometers (16 miles) south of the Northern Limit Line, which acts as an unofficial maritime boundary between the two Koreas. This is the first time this has occurred since the armistice that concluded the Korean War in 1953.

The exercises also included the firing of two “tactical ballistic missiles laden with dispersion warheads,” the testing of a “unique functional warhead paralyzing the enemy’s operating command system,” and a “combat sortie” involving 500 fighter planes.

North Korea often reacts strongly to joint US-South Korea exercises, seeing them as invasion preparations.

According to experts, Pyongyang is especially sensitive to exercises like Vigilant Storm because its air force, which lacks high-tech planes and well-trained pilots, is one of the weakest components of the military.

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