| 20 May 2024, Monday |

North Korea stages ‘tactical nuclear attack’ drill

North Korea carried out a simulated “tactical nuclear attack” rehearsal on Saturday that featured two long-range cruise missiles, according to state media on Sunday, as leader Kim Jong Un reviewed shipbuilding and weapons industries.

According to the KCNA news agency, the practice was conducted early Saturday to “warn enemies” that the country will be prepared in the event of nuclear war, as Pyongyang pledged to strengthen military deterrence against Washington and Seoul.

The two cruise missiles, carrying dummy nuclear bombs, were launched into the peninsula’s West Sea and traveled 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) at a predetermined height of 150 meters.

A separate statement said Kim visited Pukjung Machine Complex, which produces marine engines, and a major munitions factory to stress the importance of strengthening Pyongyang’s naval forces.

“He affirmed that a future plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the WPK (Worker’s Party of Korea) would set forth an important modernization of the complex and the development direction of the shipbuilding industry,” the KCNA statement said.

The statement did not specify the date of his visit.

The latest missile test came just after the joint annual summertime exercises between South Korea and the U.S., known as Ulchi Freedom Shield, came to a close on Thursday after an 11-day run, featuring air drills with B-1B bombers.

North Korea has been stepping up its military deterrence against Washington and Seoul and has criticized last month’s summit agreement between the two on improving military cooperations.

A KCNA statement on Aug. 21 said Kim recently visited a navy fleet stationed on the east coast to oversee a test of strategic cruise missiles aboard a warship, and stressed the ship would maintain striking power for combat situations.

  • Reuters