Supervised by Kim Jong-un, North Korea Fires 2 Cruise Missiles Which Capable of Carrying Nuclear

Supervised by Kim Jong-un, North Korea Fires 2 Cruise Missiles Which Capable of Carrying Nuclear
Kim Jong-un Oversees Shooting of 2 Cruise Missiles

Pyongyang - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the test-firing of two long-range strategic cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads on Wednesday. North Korea's state media, KCNA, on Thursday (13/10/2022) confirmed Pyongyang's latest missile maneuver. "The test fire was carried out on Wednesday, and was aimed at increasing the combat efficiency and power of the cruise missiles deployed to the Korean People's Army for tactical nuclear operations," KCNA wrote.

North Korea Stressing that the missile test fire is another clear warning to the enemy, Kim Jong-un said his country should continue to expand the operational scope of the nuclear strategic armed forces to resolutely prevent military crises and wars at any time and fully take the initiative in them.

On Monday, KCNA said Kim Jong-un had guided tactical nuclear drills targeting South Korea for the past two weeks in protest at joint war games by South Korean and US forces involving an aircraft carrier.

KCNA reported that the two missiles fired on Wednesday flew for 10.234 seconds. "To clearly hit the target 2,000 km (1,240 miles) away," the KCNA report said. It was not immediately clear whether the test-firing of a pair of strategic cruise missiles yesterday was detected by authorities in South Korea, Japan or the United States, which frequently monitor and release information about North Korea's weapons activity.

North Korea first tested a strategic cruise missile in September 2021, which analysts saw at the time as Pyongyang's first nuclear-capable weapon. The maneuver on Wednesday confirmed that the nuclear role was and is now operational, though it is unclear whether North Korea has mastered the technology needed to build a warhead small enough to be carried on a cruise missile.

Cruise missiles are among a number of small arms recently developed by North Korea that are seen as being able to fly low and maneuver to better evade enemy missile defenses.

Kim Jong-un said last year that developing a smaller nuclear bomb was a key goal, and officials in Seoul said that if North Korea resumed nuclear testing for the first time since 2017, developing a smaller device could be one of its goals.

North Korean cruise missiles are usually less desirable than ballistic missiles because they are not explicitly banned under UN Security Council resolutions. According to analysts, cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles that can be armed with conventional or nuclear bombs are highly unstable in the event of a conflict because it is not clear what type of warhead they carry.

Meanwhile, the administration of US President Joe Biden unveiled its long-delayed national security strategy on Wednesday with reference only to North Korea, underscoring the US' limited options to curb its nuclear and missile programs.

Daniel Russell, the top US diplomat for East Asia under former President Barack Obama, said North Korea's move was surprising. "Not only because it passes so quickly past persistent and existential threats, but also because it frames the strategy as 'seeking sustainable diplomacy towards denuclearization', when North Korea so convincingly demonstrates its resistance to negotiations," he said.

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