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N. Korea tests new underwater nuke attack drone, cruise missiles

TOKYO, March 24 (KUNA) -- North Korea said Friday it tested earlier this week a new underwater nuclear weapon capable of making a "super-scale radioactive tsunami," the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
Pyongyang also conducted a drill using four cruise missiles "tipped with a test warhead simulating a nuclear warhead" under the guidance of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday, the KCNA said.
The Central Military Commission of the North's ruling Worker's Party commanded the nuclear attack exercises from Tuesday to Thursday, which "served as a demonstration of another military attack capability, in order to alert the enemy to an actual nuclear crisis and verify the reliability of the nuclear force for self-defense," the report said.
The underwater nuclear attack drone, which was deployed for a drill off the coast of South Hamgyong Province on Tuesday, reached the target point in the waters off Hongwon Bay set as a mock enemy port with its test warhead detonating underwater on Thursday afternoon, it said. The drone cruised along an oval and pattern-8 course at an underwater depth of 80 to 150 meters in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) for 59 hours and 12 minutes, according to the KCNA. Since 2012, the country has conducted the development of the underwater nuclear strategic attack weapon system to "outpace the military and technical superiority of the imperialist aggressor forces," it said. The North affirmed that the mission of the underwater nuclear strategic weapon is to stealthily infiltrate into operational waters and make a super-scale radioactive "tsunami" through underwater explosion to destroy naval striker groups and major operational ports of the enemy.
"This nuclear underwater attack drone can be deployed at any coast and port or towed by a surface ship for operation," it stressed.
The drills came as South Korea and the US held the 11-day Freedom Shield command post exercise through Thursday. Separately, on Wednesday, the North test-fired strategic cruise missiles tipped with test payloads simulating nuclear warheads to practice carrying out tactical nuclear attack missions, the report said. The two "Hwasal-1"-type strategic cruise missiles and two "Hwasal-2"-type missiles, launched in South Hamgyong Province, accurately hit the target set in the East Sea, it said. The four missiles flew on their programmed 1500km- and 1800km-long oval and pattern-8 orbits for about 2 hours and 5 minutes and two and a half hours, respectively, it added.
The major weapon test and launching drills had no negative impact on the security of the neighboring countries, and Kim, who guided the military activities, was "greatly satisfied with the results of the major weapon test and the launching drill for a strategic purpose," the KCNA said. Kim also expressed his will to make the US imperialists and the south Korean puppet regime plunge into despair for their choice through the high-profile demonstration of the powerful war deterrence and make them understand by themselves that they are bound to lose more than they get and face a greater threat due to the strengthening of the military alliance and the expansion of war drills in the region.
He also underlined the "need to take offensive actions to make the enemy inviting the danger" with thoughtless and reckless acts realize the North's "unlimited nuclear war deterrence capability being bolstered up at a greater speed." (end) mk.aa