North Korea test-fires four strategic cruise missiles
North Korea launched four strategic cruise missiles to demonstrate "the war posture" of Pyongyang's "nuclear combat force," state media said Friday.
The missiles were fired toward the Sea of Japan, the Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency reported.
"The drill clearly demonstrated once again the war posture of the DPRK nuclear combat force bolstering up in every way its deadly nuclear counterattack capability against the hostile forces," it added, using the acronym for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
North Korea first tested a long-range cruise missile system in September 2021 and has since described those weapons as "strategic,'' wording that implies they are being developed with intent to arm them with nuclear warheads.
Thursday's test's came after North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Saturday and then flew a pair of short-range missiles into sea off its eastern coast, also known as the Sea of Japan, on Monday
US and South Korea hold simulated exercise on North's nuclear threat
On Wednesday, the United States and South Korea held a "tabletop" exercise in Washington that focused on the possibility of North Korea using a nuclear weapon.
"Given the DPRK's recent aggressive nuclear policy and advancements in nuclear capabilities, the... scenario focused on the possibility of the DPRK's use of nuclear weapons," a joint statement said.
"Both sides affirmed that the alliance stands ready to respond to the DPRK's nuclear threats."
At the same time, the US, South Korea, and Japan carried out naval drills in the Sea of Japan.
They focused on "sharing ballistic missile target information and mastering detection, tracking, and interception procedures," Seoul's defense ministry said in a statement.
The US and South Korea were planning further war games in the coming weeks.
North Korea, for decades, has described the annual US-South Korea drills as rehearsals for a potential invasion, although the allies say their exercises are defensive in nature.
lo/ (AFP, AP, Reuters)