SEOUL: North KoreaThe military said Monday its recent barrage of missile tests were practices to attack rivals’ airbases and fighter jets and cripple their operations command systems, showing Pyongyang’s determination to counter provocative attacks US-South Korean military exercises “more completely and ruthlessly.”
North Korea fired dozens of missiles and piloted warplanes last week, triggering evacuation alerts in some South Korean and Japanese areas, in response to US-Korean Air Force exercises which the North regards as a rehearsal of an invasion.
US and South Korean officials have strongly condemned the North’s missile launches, saying their drills were defensive in nature.
“The recent corresponding military operations by the Korean People’s Army are a clear response from (North Korea) that the more persistently the provocative military moves of the enemies continue, the more thoroughly and ruthlessly the KPA will counter them,” said Korean Army General Staff. the People’s Army said in a statement carried by state media.
He said his weapons testing involved ballistic missiles loaded with scatter warheads and subterranean infiltration warheads intended to launch strikes on enemy airbases; surface-to-air missiles designed to “annihilate” enemy aircraft at different altitudes and distances; and strategic cruise missiles.
The Northern Army said it carried out a major test of a ballistic missile with a special functional warhead tasked with “crippling the enemy’s operations command system”. He said he also launched very large multiple-launch missiles and tactical ballistic missiles.
He did not specifically mention Thursday’s announced launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile aimed at striking the American continent.
Almost all others The Missiles of the North launched last week were likely short-range, many of which were nuclear-capable weapons.
They place key military targets in South Korea, including US military bases within striking range.
“The KPA staff once again clarifies that it will continue to match all enemy anti-(North Korea) war exercises with sustained, resolute and overwhelming practical military measures,” it said. he declared.
This year’s “Vigilant Storm” Air Force exercises between the United States and South Korea were the largest ever for the annual fall maneuvers.
The drills involved 240 fighter jets, including advanced F-35 fighter jets from both countries.
The allies were originally supposed to hold the drills for five days ending Friday, but extended the training for another day in reaction to the North’s missile tests.
On Saturday, the final day of Air Force exercises, the United States flew two B-1B supersonic bombers over South Korea in a show of force against North Korea, the first overflight of the aircraft since December 2017.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the B-1Bs’ participation in the joint drills demonstrated the allies’ willingness to “respond sternly” to North Korean provocations and the US commitment to defending its ally with the full range of its military capabilities, including nuclear.
Even before the “Vigilant Storm” exercises, North Korea tested a series of missiles in what it called simulated nuclear attacks against American and South Korean targets to protest against the other series of military exercises of its rivals that involved an American aircraft for the first time. time in five years.
Some experts say North Korea is likely aiming to use the U.S.-South Korean military drills as a chance to modernize its nuclear arsenal and increase its influence to wrest greater concessions from the United States in future deals.
The U.S. and South Korean militaries have expanded their regular military drills since the May inauguration of conservative South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who vowed to take a tougher stance in the face of North Korean provocations.
Some of the allies’ exercises had already been reduced or canceled to support diplomacy now stuck on North Korea’s nuclear program and to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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