News ID: 112737
Publish Date : 24 February 2023 - 21:47

North Korea Shows Off ‘War Posture’ of Its Nuclear Forces

SEOUL (Dispatches) - North Korea
test-fired four strategic cruise missiles during a drill designed to demonstrate its ability to conduct a nuclear counterattack against hostile forces, its state media said on Friday.
The exercise on Thursday involved an apparently operational strategic cruise missile unit of the Korean People’s Army, which fired the four “Hwasal-2” missiles in the area of Kim Chaek City, North Hamgyong Province, towards the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, state news agency KCNA said.
“The drill clearly demonstrated once again the war posture of the DPRK (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)’s nuclear combat force, bolstering up in every way its deadly nuclear counterattack capability against the hostile forces,” the report added.
The missiles hit a preset target after traveling the “2000-kilometer (1,242.7-mile)-long elliptical and eight-shaped flight orbits for 10,208 seconds to 10,224 seconds,” it noted.
The North has been conducting several missile launches throughout the past week, timing them precisely around joint aerial war games involving the United States and South Korea.
The exercises were held on Sunday witnessing South Korea’s F-35A, F-15K and U.S. F-16 warplanes escorting American B-1B bombers.
Right before the drills, North Korea confirmed that it had carried out a “sudden intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch in order to test its missile force’s combat readiness for counterattack.”
And on Monday, the North said it had fired at least two ballistic missiles, while Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, warned that Pyongyang might step up its military activities in response to increased presence of U.S.’ strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula.
“We are carefully examining the influence it would exert on the security of our state,” she said, adding, “The frequency of using the Pacific as our firing range depends upon the U.S. forces’ action character.”
U.S. and South Korean officials took part in a simulated “table-top” exercise that focused on the possibility of North Korea using a nuclear weapon, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Nuclear-armed North Korea launched an unprecedented number of missiles last year, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. On Monday it launched two missiles into the Pacific Ocean.
U.S. and South Korean officials have also warned the North could be preparing for its first test of a nuclear device since 2017.
This was the 8th U.S. and South Korean deterrence strategy committee table-top exercise, known as DSC TTX, and the first edition since they agreed last year to hold the drills annually.
“Given the DPRK’s recent aggressive nuclear policy and advancements in nuclear capabilities, the (table top) scenario focused on the possibility of the DPRK’s use of nuclear weapons,” a Pentagon statement said, using the acronym of the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

U.S., South Korea Stage Table-Top
Nuclear Drill

“The U.S. and South Korea delegations focused their discussion on Alliance deterrence to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and potential options for responding to DPRK nuclear weapons use,” the statement added, but did not say specifically what scenarios were played out.
Seoul’s defense ministry said the allies reaffirmed their readiness for any North Korean nuclear threats, and agreed to continue reinforcing intelligence sharing, crisis consultation, joint planning and execution of extended deterrence.
“The U.S. side stressed that any use of nuclear weapons by North Korea against the United States or its allies and friends would be unacceptable and result in an end of its regime,” the ministry said in a statement.
After the simulated exercise was carried out at the Pentagon on Wednesday, officials from both countries visited Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia.
“The delegations discussed how best to leverage (South Korea’s) non-nuclear capabilities to support nuclear deterrence against DPRK nuclear threats,” the statement added.