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Kim declaring North Korea an “irreversible” nuclear power

According to the state news agency KCNA on Monday, North Korea’s recent missile launches were intended to simulate showering the South with tactical nuclear weapons as a warning following large-scale navy drills by South Korean and US forces.

North Korea launched two ballistic missiles early Sunday, according to officials in Seoul and Tokyo, marking the seventh such launch since September 25.

Leader Kim Jong Un has supervised nuclear tactical operation units in drills using ballistic rockets with dummy nuclear bombs during the last two weeks, according to KCNA, with the goal of sending a strong message of war deterrent.

According to KCNA, the numerous drills simulated hitting military command facilities, striking major ports, and neutralising airports in the South. “Our nuclear battle force’s efficacy and practical fighting capacity were thoroughly shown as it stands absolutely ready to attack and destroy targets at any moment from any location,” KCNA claimed.

North Korea regards US-South Korean military drills as an invasion rehearsal, despite the partners’ insistence that they are defensive in purpose. Since the election of a conservative administration in Seoul in May, the US and South Korean forces have increased their drills, posing a bigger security threat to Kim.

The launches, all of which were overseen by Kim, included a nuclear-capable ballistic missile launched beneath a reservoir in the northeast; other ballistic missiles designed to launch nuclear strikes on South Korean airfields, ports, and command facilities; and a new type of ground-to-ground ballistic missile that flew over Japan, according to KCNA. According to the report, North Korea also flew 150 aeroplanes for separate live-firing and other drills, in the countries first-ever such training.

According to Cheong Seong-Chang of South Korea’s private Sejong Institute, the missile launches marked the first time North Korea conducted training involving army troops responsible for the operation of tactical nuclear weapons.

The North’s public firing of a missile from beneath an inland reservoir was likewise the first of its type, though missiles had previously been tested from a submarine.

According to Kim Dong-yub, a professor at Seoul’s University of North Korean Studies, North Korea is likely to diversify launch sites to make it harder for its adversaries to identify missile liftoffs in advance and undertake preemptive attacks.

According to KCNA, as the weapon fired from the reservoir was flying above the sea target, North Korean officials checked the dependability of the missile’s warhead, which was probably a fake one, exploding at the predetermined height.

The launch, according to Kim, might be a test of blowing a nuclear warhead above South Korea’s southern port city of Busan, where the Reagan was formerly moored. He said that the missile fired was a new variant of North Korea’s highly manoeuvrable KN-23 missile, which was modeled after Russia’s Iskander missile.

The missile that soared over Japan was described by North Korea as a new sort of intermediate-range weapon that reached 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles). Foreign analysts had speculated that the missile was North Korea’s current nuclear-capable Hwasong-12 missile, which can reach the US Pacific island of Guam. However, Kim, the professor, stated that the newly tested missile seemed to be an enhanced version of the Hwasong-12 with a distant target such as Alaska or Hawaii.

North Korea provided a barrage of images depicting the launches. One of them showed Kim and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, frowning and shielding their ears while wearing orange field coats. Some experts believe the photograph demonstrated Ri’s heightened political status because it was likely her first time seeing a weapons launch with her husband.

Concerns over North Korea’s nuclear programme have grown in recent months as the nation passed new legislation enabling the use of its nukes as a deterrent in certain situations and reported moves to deploy tactical nuclear weapons near its frontline border with South Korea. North Korea launched more than 40 missiles this year.

According to some analysts, Kim Jong Un would eventually attempt to use his powerful nuclear weapons to gain US recognition of North Korea as a legitimate nuclear state, which Kim regards as critical to having severe UN sanctions lifted against his nation.

Kim Jong Un stated that the latest launches were “an evident message” to Seoul and Washington about North Korea’s nuclear assault capability. According to KCNA, Kim reiterated that he has no plans to resume the halted disarmament dialogue with the US at this time.

“The United States and the South Korean regime’s consistent, purposeful, and irresponsible actions of escalation would only attract our larger retaliation, and we are always and thoroughly monitoring the current crisis,” Kim was reported as adding.

Kim also stated that his military’s nuclear combat forces will retain “their greatest nuclear reaction posture and significantly enhance it in every aspect” in order to carry out their obligations of safeguarding the North’s dignity and sovereign rights.

South Korean officials recently stated that North Korea is still prepared to conduct its first nuclear test in five years. According to some analysts, the nuclear test would be tied to an endeavour to develop warheads for short-range missiles aimed at South Korea. “North Korea has numerous motives for publicising a high-profile missile story now,” said Leif-Eric Easley, an Ewha University professor in Seoul. “Kim Jong Un’s public presence after a month’s absence gives a patriotic headline to commemorate the governing Workers’ Party’s founding anniversary.”

“Pyongyang has been anxious about military drills by the United States, South Korea, and Japan, so it is making explicit the nuclear threat underlying its recent missile launches to bolster its self-proclaimed deterrent.” “The KCNA claim might possibly be a precursor to a future nuclear test for the type of tactical weapon that would outfit the forces Kim visited in the field,” Easley said.

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