North Korea test-fires two cruise missiles ahead of South Korea/US joint military drill
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – North Korea announced Monday that it test-fired two cruise missiles from a submarine on Sunday, just one day before South Korea was set to begin an extensive joint military drill with the United States, AFP reports.
South Korea’s military confirmed it detected the launch of just one missile from a submarine off the port city of Sinpo on the North Korean east coast.
In its report announcing Sunday’s cruise missile drill, North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency said Pyongyang had despatched a submarine to engage in the underwater test as evidence of the secretive nuclear country’s “invariable stand” against “US imperialists” and “South Korean puppet forces” which are “getting ever more undisguised in their anti-DPRK military maneuvers,” AFP reports.
Historically, North Korea has referred to such missile tests as preparation against US and South Korean military operations. “It’s very regretful that North Korea is using our regular, defensive drills as a pretext for provocation,” Koo Byoung-sam, a spokesperson for South Korea’s unification ministry, told AFP. “I hope North Korea realizes that there is nothing they can earn from escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.”
In a separate statement to AFP, Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, added: “Pyongyang has military capabilities under development it wants to test anyway and likes to use Washington and Seoul’s cooperation as an excuse.”
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that South Korean and US intelligence authorities are in the process of analyzing the North Korean test, AFP reports.
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