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North Korea Condemns US-South Korea Exercises, Promises ‘Ruthless’ Response

Official KCNA media say the recent series of launches was designed to simulate attacks on air bases, planes and a major South Korean city.

North Korea has released footage of its recent series of missile launches, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and condemned the recent military exercises between South Korea and the United States as an “open provocation and dangerous war exercise” against North Korea. the one who had to fight. answer.

A statement by the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said North Korea would continue to respond to military exercises by South Korea and the United States with “sustained, resolute and overwhelming practical military measures,” the Korean Central News Agency reported. KCNA) official. Monday.

North Korea fired multiple missiles last week, including a possible failed ICBM, cruise missiles and hundreds of artillery shells, as South Korea and the United States conducted their Vigilant Storm air exercises, which spanned five to six days in response. to the Pyongyang tests.

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The North Korean military said the exercises were an “open provocation intended to intentionally increase tension” and “a dangerous warfare exercise of a highly aggressive nature,” according to the KCNA report.

Hundreds of US and South Korean fighter planes, including B-1B bombers, participated in Vigilant Storm.

It was the first time B-1Bs had flown to the Korean Peninsula since December 2017.

The North Korean military said it had carried out activities simulating various attacks on its air bases and aircraft, as well as a major South Korean city, to “crush enemies’ lingering war hysteria,” KCNA said. It did not mention whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had supervised the launches.

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It confirmed the launch of two apparently nuclear-capable “strategic” cruise missiles on November 2 into the waters off Ulsan, a coastal city in southeastern South Korea.

The composite photos show four missiles taking off from ground-based launchers against a blue sky.
KCNA said the missiles launched included cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles and a “special functional warhead”. [KCNA via Reuters]

North Korea conducted some 23 launches that day, one of which landed 26 km (16 mi) south of the Northern Limit Line, which serves as the unofficial maritime border between the two Koreas; the first time that has happened since the Korean War ended in an armistice in 1953.

The operations also included the launch of two “tactical ballistic missiles loaded with cluster warheads,” a test of a “special functional warhead that cripples the enemy’s operations command system,” and a “total combat sortie” involving 500 fighter planes.

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Joint US-South Korean drills usually draw strong reactions from North Korea, which sees them as rehearsals for an invasion.

Experts say Pyongyang is particularly sensitive to drills like Vigilant Storm because its air force, which lacks high-tech planes and properly trained pilots, is one of the weakest parts of its military.

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