N.Korean leader inspects training of tactical nuclear weapon units: KCNA

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N.Korean leader inspects training of tactical nuclear weapon units: KCNA

This photo, provided by the Korean Central News Agency on Monday shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un talking to military officials during his inspection of major drills. (KCNA)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has inspected the military training of tactical nuclear weapon units, the country’s state media said Monday.

Kim made a “field guidance” to the drills that were conducted from Sept. 25 to Oct. 9, while the United States and South Korea were staging a large-scale combined naval exercise in the East Sea involving an aircraft carrier, an Aegis destroyer and a nuclear-powered submarine, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The North’s military also held a series of live-fire “striking” exercises, including “super-large” caliber missile firing drills targeting major ports of its enemies on Sunday, with long-range artillery and aviation units mobilized, it reported.

On Sept. 28, in particular, it staged a “ballistic missile launching drills under the simulation of loading tactical nuclear warheads,” the KCNA added.

“This is the verification of the operation posture of our war deterrent and, at the same time, an occasion that proved the reliability of the thorough preparedness of the state nuclear defense posture,” Kim was quoted as saying by the KCNA in its English-language report.

He also said the latest drills served as “an obvious warning and clear demonstration” informing the enemies of the North’s nuclear response posture and nuclear attack capabilities.

Kim made clear that he is not interested in talks with the US and South Korea, vowing to strengthen his regime’s nuclear force.

“We have no content for dialogue with the enemies and felt no necessity to do so,” Kim said, as Pyongyang’s state-controlled media carried reports on his public activity for the first time in about a month.

The announcement came on the 77th founding anniversary of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party.

Tensions have been running high on the Korean Peninsula amid a series of the North’s provocations, including the firing of an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan last week, and strong responses by South Korea, the US and Japan.

Concerns are also growing that North Korea may conduct a nuclear test in the near future.

Last month, the North’s rubber-stamp parliament approved a new law that opens the door for its preemptive nuclear strikes. Kim stated that the new law makes the country’s nuclear power status “irreversible.” (Yonhap)


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