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North Korea launches two strategic cruise missiles from the submarine: KCNA

SEOUL — North Korea tested two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine in a show of force hours before the United States and South Korea were due to host major joint military exercises, state media reported early Monday.

A submarine fired the weapons from waters off the eastern coastal city of Sinpo on Sunday morning, the KCNA news agency said.

The South Korean military said it had detected the launch of a single unspecified missile, without giving details, Yonhap news agency said.

KCNA said the exercise was successful as the missiles hit their designated and unspecified targets in waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.

The launch came hours before South Korea and the United States were scheduled to start their largest joint exercises in five years on Monday. Nuclear-armed Pyongyang has warned such drills could be seen as a “declaration of war.”

The KCNA report, which announced Sunday’s missile launch, said the test shot expressed “North Korea’s unwavering stance” to face a situation where “US imperialists and South Korean puppet forces are becoming more and more overt in their military maneuvers against the DPRK.” become”.

DPRK is short for North Korea’s official name.

KCNA said the exercise also “verified the current deployment status of nuclear war deterrents in different areas.”

In a separate statement, North Korea’s foreign ministry said the United States plans to convene a UN Security Council meeting on human rights in the reclusive communist state to coincide with the joint maneuvers.

“The DPRK strongly denounces and categorically rejects the vicious US ‘human rights’ racket as the most intense expression of its hostile policy towards the DPRK,” the ministry said, according to KCNA.

Washington and Seoul have stepped up defense cooperation in the face of mounting military and nuclear threats from the North, which has conducted increasingly provocative banned weapons tests in recent months.

The US-South Korea exercises, dubbed the Freedom Shield, are scheduled to last at least 10 days starting Monday and will focus on the “changing security environment” due to North Korea’s increased aggression, the allies said.

– “Real War” –

In a rare move, the Seoul military announced this month that it and Washington special forces were conducting a Freedom Shield military drill dubbed “Teak Knife,” simulating precision strikes on key installations in North Korea.

All of these drills infuriate North Korea, which sees them as rehearsals for an invasion.

It has said its nuclear weapons and missile programs are for self-defense.

“Pyongyang has military capabilities under development that it wants to test anyway, and likes to use Washington-Seoul cooperation as an excuse,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

Last year the North declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear power and fired a record-breaking number of missiles, with leader Kim Jong Un last week ordering his military to step up its own drills to prepare for “real war”.

Washington has repeatedly reiterated its “ironclad” commitment to defending South Korea, including using the “full breadth of its military capabilities, including nuclear.”

For its part, South Korea is keen to reassure its increasingly nervous public about the US commitment to so-called enhanced deterrence, under which US military assets, including nuclear weapons, are used to deter attacks on allies.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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