Missile test was a practice to strike the southern United States

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean forces Missile test barrage The practice of attacking enemy airbases and fighter jets to paralyze the operational command system shows North Korea’s determination to respond “more thoroughly and mercilessly” to provocative U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

North Korea launched dozens of missiles and flew fighter jets last week. Evacuation warning activation Some areas of South Korea and Japan have responded to large-scale US-ROK air force exercises that North Korea sees as rehearsals for aggression.

U.S. and South Korean officials strongly condemned the North Korean missile launch and said their training was defensive in nature.

The Chief of Staff of the Korean People’s Army said, “The recent response military operation by the Korean People’s Army is a clear (North Korean) answer that the Korean People’s Army will respond thoroughly and mercilessly to the extent that the enemy’s provocative military actions persist. is,” he said. The People’s Army said in a statement conveyed by state media.

Weapons tests include ballistic missiles with dispersion and subsurface penetrating warheads, said to be intended to strike enemy air bases. A surface-to-air missile designed to “annihilate” enemy aircraft at varying altitudes and distances. and strategic cruise missiles.

The North Korean military said it had conducted a critical test of a ballistic missile with a special-function warhead tasked with “paralyzing the enemy’s operational command system.” It also launched super-large multi-launch missiles and tactical ballistic missiles, he said.

No specific mention of Thursday’s reported launch. intercontinental ballistic missile Aimed at attacking the United States. Most of the other North Korean missiles launched last week were likely short-range missiles, many of which could carry nuclear weapons. They have placed major military targets in range, including US bases in South Korea.

The General Staff Headquarters of the Korean People’s Army said, “We reaffirm that we will continue to respond to all anti-(North Korean) military exercises of the enemy with sustained, resolute, and overwhelming practical military measures.”

This year’s “Vigilant Storm” Air Force training between the United States and South Korea was the largest annual fall exercise ever. The exercise involved 240 fighter jets, including the newest F-35 fighters from both countries. The allies were originally supposed to conduct his five-day exercise through Friday, but extended the exercise by another day in response to North Korea’s missile tests.

On Saturday, the final day of air force exercises, the United States launched two B-1B supersonic bombers over South Korea to show its strength against North Korea, the aircraft’s first such flight since December 2017. flew the plane.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the B-1B’s participation in the joint exercise was a sign of the allies’ readiness to “resolutely respond” to North Korean provocations and the United States’ willingness to defend them with all military force. He said he showed commitment. nucleus.

Even before the “Vigilant Storm” drill, North Korea protested a series of other rival military exercises involving US aircraft for the first time in what it called simulated nuclear attacks on US and South Korean targets. launched numerous missiles. Time is five years for him.

Some experts say North Korea is likely looking to use the U.S.-South Korea military exercises as an opportunity. modernize nuclear weapons And increase its leverage to extract greater concessions from the United States in future deals.

The U.S. and South Korean militaries have expanded regular military drills since conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol took office in May, who has pledged to take a tougher stance against North Korean provocations. Some of the allies’ exercises had previously been scaled back or canceled to support currently stalled diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear program and to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.