North Korea says its recent missile launches were simulated strikes on South Korea and the United States as the two countries held a dangerous war drill.
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 attacks on air bases and aircraft, as well as a major South Korean city, to “smash the enemies’ persistent war hysteria”
The flurry of missile launches included the most ever in a single day, and come amid a record year of missile testing by the nuclear-armed North Korea.
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 that ended on Saturday.
South Korean and U.S. officials have also said that Pyongyang has made technical preparations to test a nuclear device, the first time it will have done so since 2017.
Senior diplomats from the United States, Japan, and South Korea spoke by phone on Sunday and condemned the recent tests, including the “reckless” launch of a missile that landed off South Korea’s coast last week, according to a U.S. State Department statement.
An official at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Monday that a South Korean ship had recovered debris believed to be part of that North Korean short-range ballistic missile (SRBM). was the first time a North Korean ballistic missile had landed near South Korean waters.
The South Korean Navy rescue vessel used an underwater probe to recover the parts, which are being analysed, the official said.