"Nuclear Trigger:" North Korea conducts simulated nuclear counterattack

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the firing of "super-large" multiple rocket launchers in salvo launches, which simulated a nuclear counterattack against enemy targets, state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

The agency said that the drill, which took place on April 22, represented the first demonstration of the state's nuclear weapons management and control system called “Haekbangashoe,” or “Nuclear Trigger.”

The development, alongside previous tests and threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), comes amid heightened tensions in the region. The report emerged one day after both the South Korean and Japanese militaries observed North Korea launching what they believed to be multiple short-range ballistic missiles from an area close to its capital, Pyongyang, towards the eastern seas.

The report portrayed the drill as a demonstration of North Korea's nuclear forces' strength and varied attack capabilities amidst escalating tensions with the U.S. and South Korea. It depicted the latter as "warmongers," exacerbating regional tensions through their joint military exercises. The report accused the duo of “completely taking off their mask of defense and deterrence worn during their previous drills.”

“The security environment of the DPRK is seriously threatened by the hostile forces’ ceaseless military provocations to stifle the DPRK by force,” it claimed.

The main purpose of the DPRK drill was “to demonstrate the reliability, superiority, might, and diverse means of the DPRK’s nuclear forces and to strengthen the nuclear forces both in quality and quantity,” it said.

State media images depicted the firing of at least four rockets from launch vehicles while the DPRK leader oversaw from an observation post. The report stated that the rockets traveled a distance of 352 kilometers (218 miles) before precisely striking an island target. It affirmed that the exercise validated the effectiveness of the “system of command, management, control, and operation of the whole nuclear force.”

Meanwhile, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that the projectiles launched on Monday traveled approximately 300 kilometers (185 miles) before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

The North Korean leader, on the other hand, expressed satisfaction over the exercise, appreciating the “high and accurate hit” of the super-large multiple rocket launchers.

He depicted it as the “firing of a sniper’s rifle.”

The recent launches coincide with a two-week joint aerial exercise between South Korea and the U.S., which aims to enhance their readiness to respond to North Korean threats and is scheduled to continue until April 26.

In past years, North Korea has test-fired nuclear-capable missiles designed to strike sites in South Korea, Japan, and the mainland U.S.

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