Kim Jong Un talks about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities while his daughter watches the latest missile test

(CNN) north korea Leader Kim Jong Un was quoted by state media as saying on Monday that he must be ready to launch nuclear counter-strikes at any time to deter war, and accused the United States and South Korea of ​​expanding joint military exercises close to the country’s doorstep.

Kim’s remarks came after he “guided” operational units’ joint tactical exercises simulating a nuclear counterattack against North Korean enemies over the weekend, which he described as “greatly improving the units’ actual war capability,” according to the state-run Korea Center newspaper. News Agency (KCNA).

State media said a North Korean ballistic missile equipped with a dummy nuclear warhead launched on Sunday flew 800 km before hitting a target at an altitude of 800 meters under a tactical nuclear attack scenario.

The exercises allowed North Korean forces to become “aware of any unforeseen circumstances and make them more fully prepared in their active stance to launch an immediate and overwhelming nuclear counterattack.” [at] The agency quoted Kim as saying.

Kim, who appeared in state-run media photos alongside his daughter, Kim Joo Ihe said that “it is very important to continuously organize and conduct such exercises under simulated conditions of an actual war.”

Gu Ai, who is believed to be about 9 years old, was likewise photographed frequently Along with her father in launching rockets in recent months.

North Korean state media said a ballistic missile with a dummy nuclear warhead was tested on March 19, 2023.

North Korea has been ruled as a hereditary dictatorship since its founding in 1948 by Kim Il-sung. His son, Kim Jong Il, took over after his father died in 1994. Kim Jong Un assumed power 17 years later when Kim Jong Il died.

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North Korea’s disclosure of its simulated nuclear counterattack came after US strategic bombers took part in joint air exercises with South Korean forces on Sunday as part of “Freedom Shield,” the two countries’ largest joint military exercise.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks with his daughter during military exercises on March 19, 2023.

The joint exercises included US B-1B strategic bombers, F-35A stealth fighters of the South Korean Air Force and F-16 fighters of the US Air Force.

North Korea stepped up missile launches in protest of the US-South Korea joint war games, and fired submarine missiles before workouts.

Kim accused the United States and South Korea of ​​expanding joint military exercises involving US nuclear assets and claimed that his enemies had become “more visible in their movements of aggression,” prompting North Korea to “significantly strengthen its deterrence for nuclear war,” the agency said.

North Korea’s two-day nuclear counterattack drill was divided into a nuclear strike control system management exercise, including a “nuclear counterattack posture” exercise and another “launching a tactical ballistic missile with a dummy nuclear warhead” exercise. He said.

“The exercise was an important occasion in preparing our nuclear fighting force to perform its crucial mission of war deterrence and securing the war initiative quickly and accurately at any moment and under any unforeseen circumstances,” Kim was quoted as saying by state media.

Kim Dong-yup, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies and former commander of the South Korean Navy, said the North’s recent exercises seemed “very specific and sophisticated” compared to the series of tests it conducted in North Korea. September and October last year.

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“This shows that North Korea is developing its nuclear strategy, nuclear operational doctrine and nuclear command system,” he said.

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