north korea conducts cruise missile tests following us south korean military exercises
On a recent Saturday morning, North Korea launched several cruise missiles into the sea off its west coast. South Korea’s military detected these missile launches and it’s believed they are in response to the joint military drills conducted by the United States and South Korea.
The United States and South Korea hold these drills during the summer and they are intended to enhance their military readiness and cooperation. However, North Korea sees them as a threat and views them as rehearsals for an invasion. Both the U.S. and South Korea insist that these exercises are purely defensive in nature.
South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are closely analyzing the details of these missile launches to understand their capabilities and intentions. In response to these tests, South Korea has increased its surveillance efforts and is maintaining a high level of military readiness, working closely with the United States.
Read More: North Korea’s leader orders to boost missile production ahead of South Korea, US drills
This is not the first time North Korea has conducted missile tests in response to such exercises. Just before the U.S.-South Korean training ended, North Korea fired two short range ballistic missiles into the sea and they also claimed it was a simulation of nuclear strikes on South Korea. They also conducted a command post exercise focused on the occupation of South Korean territory in case of a conflict.
North Korea has been actively testing various types of weapons in recent years. While cruise missile tests are not prohibited by United Nations Security Council resolutions, they still pose a threat to neighboring countries, as they can evade radar detection and are designed for targeting U.S. warships and aircraft carriers during a potential conflict.
Read More: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un fires top general, orders military to prepare for war
Experts suggest that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, uses these military exercises as a pretext to bolster his missile and nuclear capabilities and hoping to gain international recognition as a legitimate nuclear state in future diplomatic negotiations with the United States. This recognition could lead to the lifting of UN sanctions on North Korea.