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ConflictsNorth Korea

North Korean missile launches tested enemy 'wipe out'

October 10, 2022

North Korean state media said some of the ballistic missiles were equipped with mock nuclear warheads. Kim Jong Un called this "an obvious warning" to the enemy.

Kim Jong Un overseeing missile launches in October
Kim Jong Un has dismissed calls for dialogueImage: picture alliance/AP/Korean Central News Agency

North Korea's spate of missile launches over the past two weeks were training drills to "hit and wipe out'' potential South Korean and US targets, the country's state media said on Monday.

The report mentioned ballistic missiles that were equipped with mock nuclear warheads as well as a new, previously-unseen missile that flew over Japan.

"Through seven times of launching drills of the tactical nuclear operation units, the actual war capabilities ... of the nuclear combat forces ready to hit and wipe out the set objects at any location and any time were displayed to the full," the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency said.

North Korea fires missile over Japan

Kim Jong Un oversaw launches

State media said the missile launches were a direct response to joint South Korean-American naval exercises off the Korean peninsula.

The military drills, which kicked off in August, are the largest in five years. They included the USS Ronald Reagan nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

North Korea considers such drills to be an invasion rehearsal.

Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un reportedly supervised all seven days of launches and said they were "an obvious warning" to South Korea and the US about his army's nuclear strength.

"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," Kim was quoted as saying.

After the North Korean statement was released, the office of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said that "it is important to accurately recognize the severity of security issues in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia to prepare properly."

zc/fb (Reuters, AP, dpa)