North Korea’s military said on Monday that recent South Korea-U.S. military exercises were an “open provocation and dangerous war drill,” and it had responded with measures simulating striking their air bases and warplanes, state media KCNA said. Last week, North Korea test-fired multiple missiles including a possible failed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and hundreds of artillery shells into the sea, as South Korea and the United States carried out six-day air drills until Saturday.
The North’s military said the “Vigilant Storm” exercises were an “open provocation aimed at intentionally escalating the tension” and “a dangerous war drill of very high aggressive nature. “The North’s army said it had conducted activities simulating various attacks on their air bases and aircraft, as well as a major South Korean city, to “smash the enemies’ persistent war hysteria”.
It confirmed firing two apparently nuclear-capable “strategic” cruise missiles on Nov. 2 toward the waters off Ulsan, the southeastern coastal city housing a nuclear power plant and large factory parks. The operations also included a launch of two “tactical ballistic missiles loaded with dispersion warheads ,” a test of a “special functional warhead paralysing the operation command system of the enemy,” and an ” all-out combat sortie” involving 500 fighter jets.
The General Staff of the North’s Korean People’s Army (KPA) accused Seoul and Washington of eliciting a “more unstable confrontation,” and vowed to counter their drills with “sustained, resolute and overwhelming practical military measures.” “The more persistently the enemies’ provocative military moves continue, the more thoroughly and mercilessly the KPA will counter them,” it said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.