'Ready to hit!' Pyongyang claims missile tests simulate destroying South Korea


    The announcement appears to have acted as a warning to Seoul in response to large-scale navy drills involving South Korean and US forces, CNA said on Monday. Officials in Seoul and Tokyo confirmed that North Korea had fired two ballistic missiles early on Sunday, the seventh such launch since September 25.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guided supervised exercises by nuclear tactical operation units involving ballistic missiles with mock nuclear warheads, according to KCNA.

    The agency added that the exercises were designed as a deterrent.

    It added that they simulated the targeting of military command facilities including hitting ports and airports in South Korea.

    They said: “The effectiveness and practical combat capability of our nuclear combat force were fully demonstrated as it stands completely ready to hit and destroy targets at any time from any location.”

    “Even though the enemy continues to talk about dialogue and negotiations, we do not have anything to talk about nor do we feel the need to do so,” KCNA quoted Kim Jong Un as saying.

    KCNA explained that the ruling Workers’ Party had decided to conduct the drills as a response to the mobilisation of US and South Korean naval forces.

    This included the involvement of an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine.

    Ankit Panda, from the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that the statement indicated that the tests were a way of demonstrating Pyongyang’s “resolve” in light of the military drills.

    READ MORE: Putin’s nuclear threats parried as US defence plans discussed

    Pyongyang has previously only referred to one missile that has a tactical nuclear capability.

    However, according to Mr Panda Monday’s statement, many of Pyongyang’s systems new and old will be given such a role.

    Analysts of North Korea also claim resuming nuclear testing could include the use of smaller “tactical” warheads that are meant for battlefield use.

    These weapons could also be used to fit on short-range missiles like the one recently tested.

    Analysts say that putting small warheads on short-range missiles would be a significant change in the way that Pyongyang plans to deploy and potentially use nuclear weapons.


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