North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Strategic Cruise Missile Drill

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Strategic Cruise Missile Drill

Aug. 21, 2023, 8:11 a.m.

North Korea's state media on Monday reported that the country's leader Kim Jong Un has observed a naval strategic cruise missile drill.

The ruling Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun did not say when the drill carried out by the East Sea Fleet flotilla took place.

North Korea is believed to be repeatedly conducting test launches of strategic cruise missiles that are designed to carry tactical nuclear warheads with a range of 1,500 to 2,000 kilometers.

It is believed the missiles are highly accurate and are difficult to intercept because they fly at low altitudes in elliptical or figure-eight trajectories for long periods of time.

A Rodong Sinmun photo shows a long, thin cylindrical missile being launched from a ship. South Korea's Yonhap News Agency says the ship is a new type that is designed to evade radar.

The North Korean report says during the drill Kim announced a policy to modernize the navy and improve its combat capability, and to strengthen and develop it in a way that frustrates the enemy's will for war in a contingency.

Observers believe the newspaper's report is a response to regular US-South Korea joint military drills that began Monday. They also say Kim is likely aiming to boost morale ahead of an August 28 navy anniversary reports NHK.

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