North Korea claimed on Monday 10 October that it had faked strikes “Tactical nuclear” in the past two weeks, under the personal supervision of leader Kim Jong-un, in response to the “military threat” placed in her opinion by the United States and its allies.
The regime has launched seven ballistic missiles since the end of September. One of these bullets flew over Japan, something that hasn’t happened since 2017. And the international community expects Pyongyang to carry out a nuclear test soon, which would also be the first in five years.
Faced with this growing threat, the United States, South Korea and Japan have stepped up their military cooperation. The three countries have conducted extensive naval and air exercises around the Korean peninsula in recent weeks, including the deployment of the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. USS Ronald Reagan. But these maneuvers are seen by North Korea as a dress rehearsal for an invasion of its territory.
“Korean People’s Army unit (APC) responsible for the use of tactical nuclear weapons organized military exercises from 25 September to 9 October in order to verify and evaluate the country’s capacity for deterrence and counterattack “, the official North Korean news agency KCNA said on Monday. These tests were “the simulation of a real war”she added. Also according to KCNA, the exercises consisted in particular in a “Tactical simulation of loading nuclear warheads” aboard a missile that was then launched from a silo under an artificial lake in the north-west of the country on 25 September.
Other tests carried out in the following days consist, among other things, in the simulation of “neutralization of airports” in South Korea, the “Attacks from major command centers” And “of the main enemy ports”according to KCNA.
As for the bullet that flew over Japan on October 4, it was a “new type of intermediate-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile”, the agency said. He traveled 4,500 kilometers before falling into the Pacific, which experts say was the longest distance ever achieved by a North Korean bullet in a test.
KCNA justified these exercises with the joint US-South Korean military maneuvers, “Deplorable attitude that further aggravates tension in the region while openly constituting a military threat” for North Korea, he said. Kim Jong Un “direct the exercises on site”the agency said, which posted numerous photos of the leader and missile launches on Monday.
While North Korea’s disarmament talks have long been stalled, Pyongyang, under numerous UN Security Council sanctions, has stepped up its weapons tests since the beginning of the year.
Many experts and officials also believe that the country has completed preparations for a new nuclear test, which would be the seventh in its history and the first since 2017. During a giant military parade in late April in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un vowed to develop the country’s nuclear forces “at the highest possible speed”.
Nuclearization of missiles
And in late September, the North Korean regime adopted a new doctrine stating that the country’s nuclear power status was “irreversible”. “They are looking for a tactical nuclear weapon, that’s for sure”Ankit Panda, a security analyst in the United States, estimated that “suspects they will gradually nuke many of their new short-range missiles”.
The fact that North Korea described its seven recent rocket launches as being related “tactical nuclear operational units” it is significant, added this analyst. “It’s interesting because it includes everything from short-range ballistic missiles to IRBMs [à portée intermédiaire] “, he tweeted. North Korea also claimed to have carried out “a large-scale combined air strike simulation” engaging “more than 150 aircraft”and also supervised by Kim Jong-un.
On Thursday, South Korea said it took off 30 of its fighters after detecting 12 North Korean planes flying in formation and conducting fire drills near the inter-Korean border. “Kim probably wants to tell the United States and South Korea that any demonstration of solidarity and readiness for alliances will be in vain”Rand Corporation analyst Soo Kim told AFP. According to this expert, “We probably won’t see North Korea turn back anytime soon, and there is every reason to believe that the Allies won’t fold easily this time too.”.