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Pyongyang launches more long range tests in response to NATO exercises

In response to increased military exercises by the US and South Korea, Pyongyang has started conducting additional weapons tests.

Four strategic cruise missiles were fired by North Korea as part of a military exercise, according to state media, to show off its capability to launch a nuclear response.

The launches took place as South Korea and the United States conducted a simulated war drill in Washington, DC, to hone their response to North Korean nuclear threats.

According to a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) article published in English, the four Hwasal-2 missiles were fired from the vicinity of Kim Chaek City in North Hamgyong Province towards the direction of the ocean off the Korean Peninsula.

“2,000km-long [1,243-mile] elliptical and eight-shaped flight circles for 10,208 seconds to 10,224 seconds” were completed before they reached their predetermined target, it was said.

After conducting its first long-range cruise missile test in September 2021, North Korea has since referred to the weapons as “strategic,” indicating that they are being created with the intention of fitting them with nuclear bombs.

The most recent launches successfully displayed the nuclear combat forces of North Korea’s readiness for war, which are improving their “lethal nuclear counterattack capabilities against hostile troops,” according to KCNA. The military of South Korea claimed to be investigating the North’s claims over the launches.

According to a statement from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which was obtained by the Yonhap news agency, “South Korean and American reconnaissance and surveillance assets were closely monitoring the relevant area at the time (of the drills),” as the North says. “Many options are being examined, including whether the North’s assertion is real or not,”

North Korean launches are frequently found and reported publicly by South Korean and Japanese officials.

In spite of long-standing UN restrictions related to its nuclear weapons programs, North Korea has continued to develop and mass produce new missiles. It fired two short-range missiles into the ocean off its eastern coast on Monday after firing an intercontinental ballistic missile over the weekend.

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