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North Korea’s ‘Military First’ celebration enhanced by nuclear missile test

N. Korea missile test adds to ‘Military First’ celebration, Jakarta Post.  ERIC TALMADGE, Associated text-relevantPress PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) | Associated Press | Pyongyang, North Korea , August 26 2016 North Korea marked its “Military First” holiday on Thursday with mass dancing, outdoor concerts and boasts of a successful — and potentially game-changing — submarine-launched ballistic missile test it hopes will serve as a warning to Washington and Seoul to stop holding joint military exercises Pyongyang sees as a dress rehearsal for invasion.

Television news broadcasts and the front pages of morning newspapers Thursday showed images of the launch, conducted in the early hours the day before. The test, which brought immediate condemnation from the United States and North Korea’s neighbors, sent a “Pukguksong” missile soaring from a submerged position off the North’s port city of Sinpo. It flew an estimated 500 kilometers (310 miles) toward the seas around Japan, the longest distance North Korea has yet achieved in a submarine launch.

Kim was shown smiling and hugging officials after watching the test from an observation deck. He was quoted by state media as calling it the “success of all successes.”……..

“This shows that our national defense strength has reached a new level,” said Choe Kum Chol, a 42-year-old factory worker. “We are a nuclear power and everything is ready, so we have nothing to fear.”

The test came as the US and South Korea are conducting their annual, 12-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises south of the Demilitarized Zone.

Though North Korea has protested such exercises for decades, prompting regular spikes in tensions on the divided peninsula, it has been particularly alarmed by reports that the maneuvers have recently started to include training for an invasion of the North and precision strikes, or “beheading operations,” against its top leaders.

North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons development programs have brought heavy international sanctions down on its head, but it says they are justified because of the threat posed by the US and South Korea.

“They are not military exercises, but war preparations to invade our country,” said Kim Kyong Ik, a 44-year-old Pyongyang resident. “Our country is getting more prosperous and they don’t like that, so they are stepping up their moves to stifle us.”

He said South Korea should “wake up and kick the Americans out.”………http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/08/26/nkorea-missile-test-adds-to-military-first-celebration.html

August 27, 2016 - Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war

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