North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Monday that his country should be ready to launch nuclear counter-strikes at any time to deter war, and accused the United States and South Korea of expanding joint military exercises near his country’s borders.
Kim’s statements come at a time when North Korea conducted what it described as the official North Korean Central News Agency "Nuclear tactical exercises" It lasts two days, and aims to send strong warnings to the Allies.
The agency said – according to Al-Jazeera – that the exercises witnessed a test of a ballistic missile that flew a distance of 800 km, before hitting the target at an altitude of 800 meters, as part of a tactical nuclear attack scenario.
In turn, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed Sunday the launch of the missile, and said it had spotted it "A short-range ballistic missile was launched from the vicinity of Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan Province, at 11:05 a.m. (0205 GMT) toward the East Sea." Also known as the Sea of Japan.
Saw that launch process "Serious provocation" violates international sanctions, she added "Our military remains in strong readiness based on its ability to respond aggressively to any provocation from North Korea, while conducting extensive and comprehensive joint exercises and exercises.".
Tokyo also confirmed the launch. Japan’s deputy defense minister, Toshiro Inoue, told reporters "I lodged a strong protest and strongly condemned[North Korea]through our embassy in Beijing".
The US military command for the Indo-Pacific region condemned the missile launch, saying it sheds light on "The disruptive effect" North Korean weapons programmes.
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