SEOUL: North Korea conducted the testing of a new underwater nuclear strategic attack weapon system in the Sea of Japan from Tuesday to Thursday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Friday.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un instructed the testing, the news agency said.
The mission of the underwater nuclear strategic weapon is to stealthily infiltrate into operational waters and make an extremely powerful radioactive “tsunami” through underwater explosion to destroy naval striker groups and major operational ports of the enemy, according to the KCNA.
In the testing, an underwater nuclear attack drone, which was deployed off the coast of South Hamgyong Province in eastern North Korea on Tuesday, cruised underwater in the Sea of Japan for 59 hours and 12 minutes before its test warhead exploded underwater at a target point off a mock enemy port on Thursday, the report said.
The KCNA claimed that the underwater nuclear strategic weapon, whose development secretly started in 2012, can be deployed at any coast or port.
Also, the news agency said North Korea conducted a drill to fire four strategic cruise missiles toward the Sea of Japan on Wednesday, to check the procedures and processes for carrying out tactical nuclear attack missions. The strategic cruise missiles, tipped with test warheads simulating nuclear warheads, flew on their programmed orbits extending 1,500-1,800 kilometers, according to the report.
The KCNA reported that the North Korean leader demanded the United States and South Korea stop their military exercises. He referred to the need to take offensive actions to make the enemy realize North Korea’s strengthened nuclear war deterrence capability, the report said, suggesting that the reclusive nation will continue military provocations.
Kim Dong-yup of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, who is from the South Korean navy, said that there has been intense unmanned underwater arms race around the world and that North Korea’s claim about such a weapon cannot be underestimated, while noting that he cannot tell to what extent Pyongyang’s claims can be trusted.