North Korea condemns US-South Korea drills and promises ‘merciless’ response | Military news

Official KCNA media say the recent spate of launches was designed to simulate attacks on air bases, planes and a major South Korean city.

North Korea has released images of its recent spate of missile launches, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), as it condemned recent military exercises between South Korea and the United States as “an open provocation and a dangerous war exercise,” which it has had to resist in response.

A statement by the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said North Korea will continue to respond to South Korean and US military exercises with “sustained, resolute and overwhelming practical military action,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. Monday.

North Korea fired several missiles last week, including a potentially miscarried ICBM, cruise missiles and hundreds of artillery shells as South Korea and the US conducted their Vigilant Storm air exercises, which were extended from five to six days in response to Pyongyang’s tests.

The North Korean military said the drills were an “open provocation aimed at deliberately escalating tension” and “a dangerous war drill of a very aggressive nature,” according to the KCNA report.

Hundreds of US and South Korean fighter jets, including B-1B bombers, took part in Vigilant Storm.

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

The North Korean army said it conducted activities simulating various attacks on its air bases and planes and a major South Korean city to “smash the enemies’ ongoing war hysteria,” KCNA said. There was no mention of whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launches.

It confirmed the launching of two apparently nuclear-capable “strategic” cruise missiles on November 2 into the waters off Ulsan, a southeastern coastal city in South Korea.

Composite photos show four rockets taking off from ground-based launch vehicles against a blue sky.
KCNA said the missiles fired included cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles and a “special functional warhead.” [KCNA via Reuters]

North Korea made about 23 launches that day, with one of the missiles landing 26 km (16 miles) south of the northern border line that serves as the unofficial maritime border between the two Koreas; This is the first time since the Korean War ended in a truce in 1953.

The operations also included the launch of two “tactical ballistic missiles loaded with dispersion warheads,” a test of a “special operational warhead that cripples the enemy’s operations management system,” and a “full-scale combat mission” involving 500 warplanes.

Joint exercises between the US and South Korea usually draw strong reactions from North Korea, which sees them as rehearsals for an invasion.

Experts say Pyongyang is particularly sensitive to drills like Vigilant Storm because its air force, which lacks high-tech jets and well-trained pilots, is one of the weakest parts of its military.

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