North Korea has claimed it has tested a new underwater nuclear attack drone designed to unleash a “radioactive tsunami,” while Kim Jong-un promises to “push rivals into despair.”
The North’s state news agency, KCNA, also confirmed the dismissal cruise missile at the weapons test and target practice, which took place from Tuesday to Thursday.
During the exercise that North Korean According to KCNA, the drone cruised underwater for more than 59 hours and detonated in waters off the East Coast on Thursday.
The “secret weapon” was thrown into the water off South Hamgyon province on Tuesday and detonated a test warhead on Thursday, the agency said.
It did not elaborate on the drone’s nuclear capabilities.
Dubbed “Haeil,” or Tsunami, the drone system is designed to conduct sneak attacks in enemy waters and destroy naval forces and key operational ports by generating a super-scale radioactive wave through an underwater explosion, according to KCNA.
“This nuclear underwater attack drone can be deployed to any coast and port or towed by a surface vessel for operations,” the news outlet said, adding the test was overseen by the leader Kim Jong Un.
It is unclear whether North Korea has fully developed miniaturized nuclear warheads needed to fit on its smaller weapons.
North Korea ended its gun demonstrations this month in a rebellious response to the United States‘ Expansion of military exercises with allies South Korea aims to counteract this The North’s Growing Nuclear Threat.
Analysts say perfecting smaller warheads would most likely be a key goal when the North resumes nuclear testing.
Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said Pyongyang’s recent claim of having a nuclear-capable underwater drone “should be viewed with skepticism”.
“But it is intended to show unequivocally that the Kim regime has so many different means of nuclear attack at its disposal that any pre-emptive or decapitation strike against it would fail catastrophically,” he said.
In a separate gunnery exercise, North Korea also confirmed it fired four cruise missiles Wednesday to practice conducting tactical nuclear strike missions.
The missiles were equipped with a “test warhead simulating a nuclear warhead” and flew 1,500 to 1,800 kilometers, it said.
The South Korean military said North Korea fired four cruise missiles off its east coast on Wednesday.
KCNA said Wednesday the North had launched strategic cruise missiles “equipped with a test warhead simulating a nuclear warhead.”
KCNA said two Hwasal-1 strategic cruise missiles and two Hwasal-2 strategic cruise missiles were launched in South Hamgyong province and accurately hit the target set in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.
According to KCNA, Kim is said to have overseen the three-day exercise that simulated nuclear counterattacks on enemy naval installations and ports, detonating mock nuclear warheads.
KCNA added the drills are aimed at warning the US and South Korea of a looming “nuclear crisis” as they proceed with their “deliberate, persistent and provocative war drills,” which the North portrays as invasion rehearsals.
KCNA said Kim was satisfied with the three-day drills and has issued other unspecified “militant tasks” to counter his rivals’ “reckless military provocations,” suggesting the North will continue to step up its military displays.
Kim “professed his will to plunge the US imperialists and the (South) Korean puppet regime into despair” by staging powerful demonstrations of his military nuclear program to convey to his rivals “that with expansion they are bound to do more will lose than they get”. their common drills.
It comes as Seoul and Washington continue their joint military exercises known as freedom shield — her biggest in five years — which began March 13.
The US ship USS Makin Island docked at a naval base in South Korea’s southeastern port city of Busan on Wednesday, carrying 10 F-35 stealth fighters.
North Korea said the US and South Korea are pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula to an “irreversibly dangerous point” with their drills and that such moves will require its armed forces “to prepare for full-scale war and strengthen its nuclear forces.” both in quality and quantity.”
Pyongyang has long balked at the exercises conducted by South Korean and US forces, saying they are preparing to invade the north.
South Korea and the US say the exercises are purely defensive and have criticized the tests as destabilizing and in violation of UN sanctions.
The Allies completed 11 days of their regular spring exercises Thursday, but they have other field exercises that will continue.
The North fired over 20 ballistic and cruise missiles over 10 different launch events this year as it seeks to diversify its delivery systems and demonstrate a dual nuclear strike capability on both South Korea and the US mainland.
North Korea has had a record year in testing activity with more than 70 missiles launched in 2022as Kim accelerated a campaign aimed at forcing the US to embrace the idea of the North as a nuclear power and negotiate much-needed sanctions relief from a position of strength.