PICS: North Korea simulates ‘nuclear attack’ in latest missile test

North Korea has carried out a simulated nuclear attack by launching long-range cruise missiles, heightening tensions in South Korea.

In a provocative move, North Korea carried out what it described as a “simulated tactical nuclear attack” this weekend, triggering tensions from surrounding regions.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), a state-controlled media entity, said on Sunday the drill involved launching two long-range cruise missiles equipped with mock nuclear warheads into the sea.

North Korea’s ‘nuclear attack’ tests

This follows after North Korea launched ballistic missiles three days ago, in response to the United States carrying out bomber drills.


As reported by CNN at the time, the missiles landed in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the launch, saying North Korea “has repeatedly and frequently launched missiles since the start of the year.”

Kishida concluded: “These actions are a threat to peace and stability, not only for our country but for the region and the international community. It is absolutely unacceptable”.

Kim Jong Un ‘pleased’

KCNA on Saturday also released photos of leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a major munitions factory.

Kim allegedly expressed satisfaction, saying the missile test was important in strengthening North Korea’s armed forces.

north korea mock nuclear attack
An undated picture released by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 3 September 2023 of Kim Jong Un inspecting the Pukjung Machine Complex. Photo: STR/KCNA via KNS/AFP

According to KCNA, the mock nuclear strike – carried out during the early hours of 2 September – was aimed at warning enemies of the “actual nuclear war danger”.

North Korea said this was a “counteraction drill” in reaction to joint military activities between the United States and South Korea.

South Korea’s response

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) confirmed an unidentified number of cruise missiles were launched towards the Yellow Sea around 4:00 am local time (9pm last night, South African time).

north korea missile test
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the Pukjung Machine Complex in North Pyongan. Photo: STR/KCNA/KNS/AFP

However, the JCS – consisting of General Kim Seung-kyum, General Park Jeong-hwan, Admiral Lee Jong-ho, and others – said they are still evaluating the specifications of the missiles.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that a JCS official labeled North Korea’s claims as “exaggerated”, adding it has yet to secure technologies for the high-tech flight vehicle.

The JCS, in a text message to Yonhap reporters, said: “The intelligence authorities of South Korea and the US are in the process of conducting a detailed analysis.”

Analysts weigh in

Experts suggest that North Korea’s actions are aimed at deterrence.

north korea missile
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in North Pyongan Province. Photo: STR/KCNA via KNS/AFP

A professor at Seoul’s Ewha University, Leif-Eric Easley, saying the Kim regime is keen to deter an increasingly assertive South Korea and its strengthened alliance with Washington.

Easley warned the rhetoric exceeds normal deterrence logic, which could have negative implications for inter-Korean relations.

This comes as relations between North and South Korea continue to deteriorate, after numerous failed attempts at diplomacy concerning North Korea’s denuclearisation efforts.

🚨North Korea conducts “simulated tactical nuclear attack” with long-range cruise missiles. The move raises concerns amid tense relations with South Korea and the U.S. 🇰🇵🇺🇸🇰🇷 #NorthKorea #MissileTest #TensionsRising

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