North Korea is relentlessly testing ballistic missiles despite a UN ban, while South Korea and the US hold joint military exercises. However, there are discrepancies between the information on the missile residue.
North Korea has said it has tested several military guided missiles to strengthen its nuclear deterrent. Four long-range cruise missiles were fired east towards the open sea on Thursday, reported the state media of the country isolated because of its nuclear weapons program. Such exercises will increase the “capability of a deadly nuclear counterattack”. A day before the weapons test, the United States and its ally South Korea had played out a scenario in which North Korea would also use nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s foreign ministry again accused the US of hostile policies and warned Washington against sending new strategic weapons systems to the Korean peninsula and holding joint military exercises with South Korea. “That can be interpreted as a declaration of war against the People’s Republic,” it said. North Korea described the weapons test as an “exercise” for the nuclear forces. The strategic cruise missiles (cruise missiles) of the type Hwasal-2 would have hit their targets in the sea 2000 kilometers away after a flight time of around two hours and 50 minutes, it was said.
The General Staff in neighboring South Korea confirmed the weapons test. But there are differences between what South Korea and the US have recorded through their surveillance techniques and what North Korea has indicated. Details are still under investigation, it said.
What is the difference between the weapons?
North Korea, ruled by Kim Jong Un, is barred from testing any ballistic missiles by UN decisions. However, like ballistic missiles, cruise missiles can also be equipped with a nuclear warhead. Unlike ballistic missiles, guided missiles have their own permanent propulsion system.
Tensions are currently growing in the region. North Korea tested another ICBM last Saturday that could theoretically reach US territory. On Monday, North Korea launched two missiles that Japan and South Korea had identified as short-range ballistic missiles.
The United States and its East Asian allies feel threatened by North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons program. On Wednesday, the United States held a joint missile defense exercise with Japan and South Korea. On the same day, the United States and South Korea held a military simulation game at the Pentagon in Washington. “Given the People’s Republic’s recent aggressive nuclear policy and advances in nuclear capabilities,” the scenario of the exercise focused on the possibility of North Korea using nuclear weapons, the US Department of Defense said.
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