North Korea shares details of latest missile test
Pyongyang says the two cruise missiles it launched on Wednesday hit their target 2,000 kilometers away
North Korea has claimed yet another victory by proving its nuclear warfare capability, saying two cruise missiles it launched on Wednesday successfully hit their target 2,000 kilometers away.
The two missiles flew over the Yellow Sea, between the Korean peninsula and China, and remained in the air for almost three hours before landing. « clearly struck » their unidentified target, according to a report by Pyongyang’s state media KCNA. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the launches and expressed « great satisfaction » with the test results.
Kim « highly appreciated the high reaction capabilities of our nuclear combat forces, which have once again proven their full readiness for real war to bring the enemies under their control at a stroke through the unconditional counterattack, mobile, precision and power of any weapon system », said KCNA. He called the launches a « clear warning » to the enemies of North Korea and a verification of the « Absolute reliability and combat capability of our state’s war deterrent. »
With a range of 2,000 kilometers, the cruise missiles fired on Wednesday could travel nearly four times the distance between Pyongyang and Busan, the major city on the southeastern tip of South Korea. The missiles can also reach far beyond any target in Japan. Just last week, North Korea carried out its longest-range missile test on record, firing the projectile over Japan during a 4,600 kilometer flight. The country’s Hwasong-17 ballistic missile is said to have a range of at least 15,000 kilometers, easily within range of US targets.
Kim said he intends to continue expanding the « operational sphere » North Korea’s nuclear forces « To resolutely deter any crucial military crisis and war crisis at any time and take the initiative completely. »
Wednesday’s launches marked the latest in a series of tests of Pyongyang’s strategic weaponry that began on September 25. Kim said the tests were done to ensure North Korea’s nuclear forces were ready to « annihilate » potential attackers. One such exercise simulated the loading of tactical warheads into a missile silo hidden under a tank.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol warned on Monday that the region faces a “serious security reality” amid the noises of Pyongyang’s nuclear saber. North Korea in August rejected a proposal by Yoon to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for economic aid from Seoul. On Monday, Kim ruled out peace talks with South Korea or the United States, saying his enemies « have always spoken of dialogue and negotiations while threatening us militarily ».