North Korea: Simulated Nuclear Counterattack, Seoul Warns

Kim Jong-un's demonstration takes place during joint US – South Korea drills

North Korea has conducted another military exercise, this time simulating a nuclear counterattack using multiple missile launchers dubbed “ultra-wide.” According to North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper, Kim Jong-un personally led the drills. They have become the first demonstration of North Korea’s central command and control system for nuclear weapons called the Nuclear Trigger. The exercise was presented as a “clear warning to our enemies.” Kim said he was “satisfied with the success of the exercise.” In addition to launching some missiles, they included “practical exercises to drill the process of conducting a nuclear counterstrike when the highest level of a nuclear crisis is declared.”

The report, cited by the Rodong Sinmun and published by South Korean newspaper The Korea Herald, explained that the drills are in response to “Korean Flight Training,” a two-week exercise between the South Korean and US air forces. They began on April 12 and are qualified by Pyongyang as “continuous military provocations by hostile powers seeking to crush us by force.”

Seoul reacted sharply. “If North Korea tries to use weapons, it will face an immediate, overwhelming, and decisive response from the alliance of South Korea and the USA, and the North Korean regime will come to an end,” ministry spokesman Jeong Ha-kyu said.