Kim sends missile 'warning' to SKorea, US as tensions rise

Threatens that more will follow if their joint war games continue

Photo: Getty Images

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un said the country's latest missile launches were a warning to Washington and Seoul over their joint war games, state news agency KCNA reported on Wednesday, as tensions rise on the Korean peninsula.

The latest launch by the nuclear-armed North came after the South Korean and US militaries began mainly computer-simulated joint exercises on Monday to test Seoul's ability to take operational control in wartime. Those drills are taking place despite Pyongyang's warnings that the exercises would jeopardise nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

KCNA said Kim had watched the launches early Tuesday, which verified the "war capacity" of the "new-type tactical guided missiles".

With the launches carried out satisfactorily, "Kim Jong Un noted that the said military action would be an occasion to send an adequate warning to the joint military drill now underway by the US and South Korean authorities," KCNA said.

As AFP reminds, Pyongyang on Tuesday fired two projectiles that "are assumed to be short-range ballistic missiles" into the sea, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said earlier. The latest weapons tests were the fourth pair of projectiles fired in less than two weeks, and the North has threatened more. Pyongyang has always been infuriated by military exercises between the South and US, seeing them as rehearsals for invasion, but in the past it has tended to avoid carrying out missile tests while the war games were taking place. Still, US President Donald Trump last week downplayed the North's launches, saying Kim would not want to "disappoint" him.

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