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North Korea raises tensions in Pacific: Kim Jong-un regime launches new cruise missiles

North Korea raises tensions in Pacific: Kim Jong-un regime launches new cruise missiles

A television screen shows a report on North Korea's missile launches (AP Photo/Lee ​​Jin-man)

North Korea took over Test firing of new generation strategic cruise missilesNorth Korea's state news agency announced on Thursday.

The statement KCNA It did not specify the number of missiles tested, but it comes hours after the South Korean military said Pyongyang had fired several cruise missiles west of the Korean peninsula.

According to Kim Jong-un's regime, it is a new generation Bulvasal-3-31 type strategic cruise missiles.

He also assured that Wednesday's tests were “a regular and mandatory exercise of the process of updating the weapons system”.

Firing tests do not affect the security of neighboring countries and have nothing to do with the regional situation.The company added.

Wednesday's firing took place at around 7:00 a.m. local time (22:00 GMT on Tuesday), the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, which is analyzing the details.

It was Pyongyang's first cruise missile launch since September 2023When two long-range strategic missiles with simulated nuclear warheads were tested in the same area.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits an aircraft manufacturing plant in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia's Khabarovsk region (Reuters)

The North Korean regime has accelerated its weapons tests so far this year, including tests of an “underwater nuclear weapons system” and solid-fueled hypersonic ballistic missiles.

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Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missile tests are not prohibited under UN sanctions against North Korea.

Cruise missiles are typically jet-powered and fly at lower altitudes than ballistic missiles, making them harder to detect and intercept.

The new launch comes as South Korea conducts a 10-day special forces infiltration exercise off its east coast. “In light of the serious security situation” with the NorthAccording to the South Korean Navy.

The Korean Peninsula has been experiencing heightened tensions since the end of a 2018 inter-Korean agreement aimed at reducing military presence and drills in the border areas after Pyongyang conducted live-fire maneuvers near the West Sea border earlier this month. .

The South Korean military has already said it will resume artillery fire and border exercises in response.

A strategic cruise missile, named “Pulvasal-3-31”, currently under development, was test-fired by North Korea from an unspecified location (KCNA via REUTERS)

In response to tensions, The United States, South Korea, and Japan are expanding joint military exercisesKim describes these as invasion rehearsals and has fine-tuned their deterrence strategies around US nuclear-capable assets.

North Korea last week said it had tested a nuclear-capable underwater attack drone in response to joint naval exercises by the US, South Korea and Japan, while continuing to blame its rivals for tensions in the region.

From 2021 onwards, Pyongyang has carried out several aerial tests It describes it as a long-range cruise missile, which it says can travel up to 2,000 kilometers and has nuclear capabilities.

Analysts argue that the North is trying to reduce the South's weight in the regional nuclear standoff and could force direct talks with Washington in an effort to stabilize its nuclear status.

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(With information from AFP and AP)