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North Korea: Record Number Of Missile Tests Was ‘Practice’ To Attack US, South

North Korea last week fired a missile that crossed over the south’s disputed maritime border for the first time since the division of the Korean peninsula in 1948. On Monday the south’s navy announced it has  “recovered what is presumed to be the debris of the North’s short-range ballistic missile.”

Also unprecedented is that the missile landed a mere 50 miles from the South Korean coastal city of UlsaYonhap said, coming amid a record number of missile launches within a 24-hour timeframe last Wednesday.

A recent N.Korean missile launch, via AP

Pyongyang was reacting to a week of the largest-ever joint US-South Korean military drills, which had a large aerial component of over 200 combined aircraft. The exercises ended on Saturday, and also came as Seoul as well as Washington intelligence officials have been warning allies to expect Kim Jong-Un to conduct a nuclear test at any time.

On Monday North Korea itself explained the ramped up launches for the first time, directing its rhetoric in the form of new threat aimed at the United States. Pyongyang says the military was “simulating the attack” on US and South Korean targets as a result of the provocative six days of drills. 

“As part of the countermeasures to smash the continued frenzy of war provocations of the enemy, our army launched to the east sea the super-large multiple launch rocket system, five tactical ballistic missiles of different kinds and 46 long-range missiles of multiple launch rocket system,” state-run KCNA news agency reported of the North Korean military statement.

Pyongyang further claimed it launched a “special functional warhead paralyzing the operation command system of the enemy” along with the “mobilization of 500 fighters” – in reference to fighter jets. Pentagon officials remain skeptical of this claim of the north deploying 500 jet fighters. 

US and South Korean officials say they haven’t seen evidence of this “special” warhead that the KCNA statement referenced. The north has vowed to keep up the pressure…

“The recent corresponding military operations by the Korean People’s Army are a clear answer of (North Korea) that the more persistently the enemies’ provocative military moves continue, the more thoroughly and mercilessly the KPA will counter them,” the General Staff of North Korea’s military said in a statement carried by state media.

The region has been put on edge over the rapidly increased numbers of tests, especially US-ally Japan: 

You will find more infographics at Statista

Meanwhile, a joint US-South Korea military statement last week warned as follows in response to Pyongyang’s posturing and rhetroic: “Any nuclear attack against the United States or its allies and partners, including the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons, is unacceptable and will result in the end of the Kim regime.”

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