The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

‘Going nuclear’ – the only option says North Korea

North Korea tells UN ‘going nuclear’ is only option North Korea’s foreign minister has told the United Nations that “going nuclear” is his country’s only way to defend itself and vowed to further bolster its nuclear military forces. SBS News, AFP    24 SEP 2016

Speaking to the General Assembly, Ri Yong-ho said his country will “continue to take measures to strengthen its national nuclear armed forces in both quantity and quality.”

He spoke just two weeks after North Korea’s fifth and most powerful nuclear test provoked worldwide condemnation, prompting the UN Security Council to begin work on a new sanctions resolution.

“Going nuclear armed is the policy of our state,” Ri, who has been foreign minister since May, told the world gathering.

“As long as there exists a nuclear weapon state in hostile relations with the DPRK (North Korea), our national security and the peace on the Korean peninsula can be defended only with reliable nuclear deterrence,” he said……..

September 24, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA and South Korea to conduct mock attack on nuclear facility, (with North Korea in mind)

atomic-bomb-lFlag-USAflag-S-KoreaSouth Korea, US to simulate attack on nuclear facility By Jungeun Kim, Paula Hancocks and Joshua Berlinger, CNN  September 21, 2016

Story highlights

  • The two countries will simulate attacks on nuclear facilities and sudden missile strikes
  • The announcement comes after North Korea conducted a nuclear test this month
 Seoul (CNN)South Korea and the United States will conduct a mock attack on a nuclear facility next month, an official with the South Korean Defense Department told CNN.
Though the official said the drills are not aimed particularly at North Korea, the announcement comes less than two weeks after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a nuclear warhead — its second nuclear test this year and fifth one ever.
The US and South Korea will also simulate what to do in the event of a sudden missile attack……..
The simulation, dubbed joint exercise “Red Flag,” will take place in Alaska from October 3 until October 21……..The munitions
In its announcement, South Korea said the nuclear facility attack simulation will take place using a GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition, a kit that converts bombs that normally just free-fall from planes into guided munitions…….
Another show of force

The US on Wednesday also announced that it conducted its second show of force operation in two weeks in South Korea to send North Korea a message.
It sent two B-1B bombers to fly alongside the Korean demilitarized zone, a source told CNN……
The US flew B-1 bombers over Seoul on September 13th in a show of force responding to the recent North Korean nuclear test.
A day after that flyover, North Korea accused the US of “bluffing” and “blustering” with the flyover and said such actions were inflaming tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

September 23, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The world might just have to accept North Korea as a nuclear power

flag-N-KoreaAs world protests, North Korea sees nuclear power status within reach B on SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 in ASIA TIMES NEWS

Denying North Korea nuclear status may be “as foolish an act as trying to eclipse the sun with a palm.” Since its first nuclear test in 2006, Pyongyang has detonated progressively more powerful devices, in 2009, 2013 and twice this year and also made major strides in developing its delivery systems.  The more the U.S. isolates North Korea, the more are the chances of Pyongyang rising to a fully fledged nuclear power.Following North Korea’s fifth and most powerful nuclear test last week, U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated a stance that has undergirded American and much international policy for decades: Pyongyang would never be accepted as a member of the nuclear arms club.

Promising new sanctions against the already isolated country in response to its “unlawful and dangerous actions,” Obama was unequivocal that “the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”

It’s a vow, however, that appears increasingly hollow in light of Pyongyang’s impressive advancement of its nuclear ambitions, forcefully demonstrated by last Friday’s detonation, the second this year and fourth on Obama’s watch……..

Since its first nuclear test in 2006, Pyongyang has detonated progressively more powerful devices, in 2009, 2013 and twice this year, with its most recent weapon thought to have been more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. At the same time, it has made major strides in developing its delivery systems. Last month, it successfully launched a ballistic missile from a submarine.

Experts such as Siegfried Hecker now consider plausible the once fanciful idea that North Korea could soon be capable of striking the U.S. mainland with a nuclear warhead, possibly within a decade……..

September 19, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

America’s role in shaping the North Korea nuclear crisis

Rooting Out the North Korean Nuclear Crisis: the Past and Present U.S. Role, CounterPunch, by CHRISTINE HONG – PAUL LIEM, 15 Sept 16,  North Korea’s nuclear test of September 9, 2016, the fifth and largest measuring twice the force of previous blasts, prompted a predictable round of condemnations by the United States and its allies along with calls for China to step up its enforcement of sanctions on North Korea. Yet few “expert” analyses suggest that China will risk destabilizing North Korea or that further United Nations resolutions and international sanctions will succeed in deterring North Korea from pursuing its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

The Obama administration’s reliance on China to rein in North Korea is at odds with its efforts to contain China’s influence in Asia, a quixotic goal in itself. It reflects an unrealistic desire for China to be influential just enough to do the bidding of the United States but not powerful enough to act in its own interests.

North Korea is, after all, China’s strategic ally in the region, and it is in South Korea that the United States plans to deploy THAAD, a defense system with radar capable of tracking incoming missiles from China. It is simply not in China’s interest to risk losing an ally on its border only to have it replaced by a U.S.-backed state hosting missile-tracking systems and other military forces targeting it. And China knows it is not the target of North Korea’s nukes. If the United States cannot punt the problem of North Korea’s nuclear weapons to China it must deal with North Korea directly.

Indeed, in response to U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s recent condemnation of China’s “role” and “responsibility” in failing to restrain North Korea’s nuclear pursuits, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling on the United States to take a long hard look at its own foreign policy:……….

Despite President Barack Obama’s efforts over his two terms in office to “pivot” or “rebalance” U.S. foreign policy to Asia and the Pacific and his repeated identification of the United States as a Pacific power, the memory of nuclear ruin in the region is shadowed by the history of the United States as a first-user of atomic weapons against civilian populations in Japan at the close of World War II and as a tester of devastating nuclear technology, including human radiation experiments, in the Marshall Islands during the Cold War. Moreover, it has not gone unnoticed that President Obama, despite his professed commitment to nuclear de-escalation, has refused to issue an “unequivocal no-first-use pledge.”

In Korea, the one place on the planet where nuclear conflagration is most likely to erupt, given the current state of affairs, President Obama can still end the threat of nuclear warfare. This would require what few in his administration appear to have entertained, namely, the elimination of the demand for North Korea to agree to irreversible denuclearization as a precondition for bilateral talks. This rigid goal makes it virtually impossible for the United States to respond positively to any overture from North Korea short of a fantastic offer by that country to surrender all its nuclear weapons. The premise that the denuclearization of North Korea is necessary to ensure peace and stability on the Korean peninsula needs to be shelved, and all possibilities for finding common ground upon which to negotiate the cessation of hostilities on the Korean peninsula should be explored…….

Let us also recall that North Korea offered to halt testing of its nuclear weapons if the United States agreed to put an end to the annual U.S.-South Korea war games.[6] Combining live artillery drills and virtual exercises, these war games, as of this year, implemented OPLAN 5015, a new operational war plan that puts into motion a preemptive U.S. nuclear strike against North Korea and the “decapitation” of its leadership. Unsurprisingly, North Korea considers this updated operational plan to be a rehearsal for Libya-style regime change……..

President Obama should prioritize any and all possibilities for achieving a halt to North Korea’s nuclear programs by diplomacy, over the goal of achieving an illusory agreement for complete denuclearization. As an achievement, halting North Korea’s nuclear advances is far short of the peace treaty needed to bring an end to the Korean War and a lasting peace to Korea. It is far short of creating international conditions for the Korean people to achieve the peaceful reunification of their country. And it is a far cry from achieving nuclear disarmament on a global scale. Yet, as a redirection of U.S. policy towards engagement with North Korea, it would be the greatest achievement in U.S. Korea policy of the last fifteen years, and a concrete step towards achieving denuclearization in the region, and worldwide… (extensive references)

September 16, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea is targeting USA, not Japan, says Japanese lawmaker

North Korea’s nuclear program is targeting U.S., Japanese lawmaker says, WP. 4 By Anna Fifield September 13 

TOKYO — North Korea’s nuclear program is directed at the United States, a close adviser to Kim Jong Un said after last week’s atomic test, according to a Japanese lawmaker who just returned from Pyongyang.

The warning came as two U.S. military B-1 bombers flew over the southern half of the peninsula in a show of force against North Korea, and top military brass and diplomats alike warned Pyongyang the United States was prepared to take all steps to contain and punish the regime.

North Korea defied United Nations resolutions and international warnings by detonating its fifth and largest nuclear weapon Friday, declaring that it was a warhead that could be used to counter “the American threat.”

Antonio Inoki, a former professional wrestler who now serves in Japan’s parliament, returned Tuesday from a five-day visit to Pyongyang saying that Japan need not worry about the North’s nuclear program.

“This is not directed at Japan. The nuclear development is toward the United States,” Inoki quoted Ri Su Yong, an elder statesman of North Korean foreign affairs who is particularly close to Kim, as saying……..

September 13, 2016 Posted by | Japan, North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

South Korea prepared a plan to destroy Pyongyang

flag-S-Koreaflag-N-KoreaS Korea draws up plan to destroy Pyongyang AAP on September 11, 2016, 

South Korea has devised a plan to destroy North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, through intensive bombing if the communist regime shows signs of launching a nuclear attack.

“Every Pyongyang district, particularly where the North Korean leadership is possibly hidden, will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosive shells as soon as the North shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon. In other words, the North’s capital city will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map,” reported South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing a military official.

The details of the operation came to light after the South Korean Defence Ministry unveiled the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) plan in front of the National Assembly in response to the latest nuclear test by North Korea.

The plan is to carry out pre-emptive strikes against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the country’s military leadership if any signs of an imminent use of nuclear weapons is detected or in case of a war, the official explained.

In such a scenario, South Korea will deploy its Hyunmoo 2A and Hyunmoo 2B ballistic missiles, with a range of between 300 and 500 kilometres as well as the Hyunmoo-3 cruise missiles with a range of 1000 kilometres.

In mid-August, Seoul announced its intention to significantly boost its arsenal of missiles to counter the growing military threat from North Korea.

Another source cited by Yonhap said Seoul recently set up a special unit in charge of targeting North Korea’s top military leadership and “launching retaliatory attacks on them.”

North Korea conducted its fifth and largest-ever nuclear test on Friday, claiming it had tested a nuclear warhead that can be fitted onto missiles.

September 12, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Clinton Asserts USA Will Not Allow North Korea To Have Deliverable Nuclear Weapon

Atomic-Bomb-SmUSA election 2016US Will Not Allow North Korea To Have Deliverable Nuclear Weapon: Clinton, News September 11, 2016 Washington: The US will not allow North Korea to have deliverable nuclear weapons, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said on Sunday.

“I absolutely believe that it has to be made very clear we will not allow North Korea to have a deliverable nuclear weapon, and we will approach this from a number of perspectives,” Clinton said.

 President Barack Obama had earlier said that the US will never accept Pyongyang as a “nuclear state”. Responding to a question, Clinton said she has had conversations in the past with the Chinese about North Korea…….

we have got to make it clear missile defense is going in as quickly and broadly as possible,” Clinton said.

“Our message to the North Koreans and everyone else listening, they will not be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapon that has a deliverable capacity on a ballistic missile. And we have got to start intensifying our discussions with the Chinese, because they can’t possibly want this big problem on their doorstep,” she said……..

September 12, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, USA, USA elections 2016, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea’s claims as a nuclear power

flag-N-KoreaNorth Korea demands recognition as legitimate nuclear state, Guardian, 11 Sept 16  Pyongyang spokesman says threat of further sanctions is ‘laughable’ and country will work to increase its nuclear force North Korea has demanded the US recognise it as a “legitimate nuclear weapons state” following its fifth and largest atomic test, adding that threats of further sanctions against the country were “laughable”.

The dictatorship set off its most powerful nuclear explosion to date on Friday, saying it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile and ratcheting up a challenge to rivals and the UN……….

The UN security council denounced North Korea’s decision to carry out the test and said it would begin work immediately on a resolution. The US, Britain and France pushed for the 15-member body to impose new sanctions.

Obama said after speaking by phone with the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, and the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, on Friday that they had agreed to work with the security council and other powers to vigorously enforce existing measures and to take “additional significant steps, including new sanctions”……..

September 12, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

World anger at North Korea’s nuclear bomb test

Atomic-Bomb-Smflag-N-KoreaNorth Korean nuclear tests spark global anger, ABC News 10 Sept 16  World powers have expressed outrage after North Korea claimed it had successfully tested a nuclear warhead that could be mounted on a missile, prompting urgent United Nations talks and calls for new sanctions.

South Korea, the United States, Australia, Japan, Russia and China all condemned the blast at the Punggye-ri nuclear site, the North’s fifth and most powerful yet at 10 kilotons.

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council —set to discuss the issue later today — to take “appropriate action” after what he called a “brazen breach” of the council’s resolutions.

“The patience on our side and that of the international community has already reached its limit,” South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said, slamming the North’s young leader Kim Jong-Un for his “maniacal recklessness”.

The news drew swift condemnation from US President Barack Obama, who called the test “a grave threat to regional security and to international peace and stability” and vowed to push for new international sanctions……..

Pyongyang’s state media said the test, which comes after a series of ballistic missile launches, had realised the country’s goal of being able to fit a miniaturized warhead on a rocket.

“Our nuclear scientists staged a nuclear explosion test on a newly developed nuclear warhead at the country’s northern nuclear test site,” a North Korean TV presenter said.

First indications of an underground explosion came when seismic monitors detected a 5.3-magnitude “artificial earthquake” near the Punggye-ri nuclear site.

“The 10-kiloton blast was nearly twice the [power of the] fourth nuclear test and slightly less than the Hiroshima bombing, which was measured about 15 kilotons,” said Kim Nam-Wook of the South’s meteorological agency.

But attention soon shifted from the blast’s power to Pyongyang’s claim that it was a miniaturised warhead.

If Pyongyang can make a nuclear device small enough to fit on a rocket — and bolster the range and accuracy of its missiles — it might achieve its oft-stated aim of hitting US targets. But its past claims to have achieved that have been discounted.

Pyongyang routinely insists Washington is on the verge of launching all-out war against it.

Outside experts said authenticating North Korea’s claim to have mastered miniaturisation would be difficult using seismic data alone.

“We would need to see it tested on a missile, like China did in the 1960s,” said Melissa Hanham, a North Korea expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

“Nobody wants to see that. There is no way they could do that test in a safe way, and it could easily start a war.”

China under pressure

North Korea has been hit by five sets of United Nations sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006, but has insisted it will continue come what may.

The nuclear program has accompanied a series of ballistic missile launches, the latest of which took place on Monday as world powers gathered for a G20 meeting in China.

This week’s events pose yet another challenge for Pyongyang’s chief ally, China, which has been under pressure to rein in its increasingly aggressive neighbour. Beijing said on Friday it “firmly opposes” the test, but it has limited room to manoeuvrer. Its priority is to avoid the regime’s collapse, which would create a crisis on its border and shift the balance of power on the Korean peninsula toward the United States……

September 10, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Miniaturisation of nuclear bombs – North Korea makes a worrying claim

nuclear-warheadsflag-N-KoreaN Korea test raises fears of small nukes, SBS World News, 9 Sept 16    There are fears North Korea is getting close to creating a nuclear bomb small enough to fit on a ballistic missile. North Korea tested its most powerful nuclear device on Friday, but the more worrying aspect for its rivals was Pyongyang’s claim that it had advanced its ability to make a nuclear weapon by miniaturising and mounting a warhead on a missile.

Its KCNA news agency said the test had used a nuclear warhead that had been “standardised to be able to be mounted on strategic ballistic rockets”.

“The standardisation of the nuclear warhead will enable the DPRK to produce at will and as many as it wants, a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power,” KCNA said, referring to the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

There is little scientific evidence to verify that North Korea has perfected the science of creating a nuclear bomb small enough to fit on a ballistic missile and withstand the physics of atmospheric re-entry.

But it may be getting closer.

In April, a South Korean official said the North had accomplished miniaturisation of a warhead, although the Pentagon said it did not necessarily share that assessment.

In March, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met nuclear scientists working on miniaturisation. He was photographed at the visit looking at a small, ball-like device KCNA said was a miniaturised nuclear warhead. He was also photographed inspecting a missile nosecone………..

September 10, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea is urged by East Asia Summit to abandon nuclear program

East Asia Summit urges NK to abandon nuclear program , Korea Times 

By Kang Seung-woo , 8 Sep 16  VIENTIANE, Laos ― The East Asia Summit (EAS) adopted a statement urging North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs, Thursday, as President Park Geun-hye called for international unity against the threats from Pyongyang.

This marks the first time the regional strategy forum has adopted a single-issue statement other than the chairman’s statement. The EAS is comprised of 18 countries including the United State, Japan, China and the 10 members of ASEAN.

“We urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and uphold its international legal obligations,” said the statement after the meeting in the Laotian capital of Vientiane, calling for the full implementation of all relevant United Nations (U.N.) resolutions amid growing provocations from Pyongyang.

It also called for the continuation of joint efforts to resume the suspended six-party talks shortly to make substantial progress in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner……..

September 9, 2016 Posted by | ASIA, North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

US-China Cooperation on N. Korean Nuclear Threat is undermined by national rivalries

US-China Tensions Undermine Cooperation on N. Korean Nuclear Threat SEOUL — VOA NEWS 8 SEP 16  Washington and Beijing’s longstanding agreement on the need to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions is, analysts say, splintering over rising tensions in the region and diverging national interests.

American and South Korean officials, as well as analysts from China and Russia, addressed the increasingly complex security situation on the Korean peninsula at the Seoul Defense Dialogue on Thursday, organized by the South Korean Ministry of Defense.

Stay the course

Kim Hong-kyun, the South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peace and Security Affairs, called for continued international support to pressure the Kim Jong Un government to curb its defiant and continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles……..

The latest round of United Nations sanctions caused economic pain, especially, Kim said, in trade, shipping and finance. However, since the new restrictions were imposed in March, North Korea has conducted 20 tests of short and medium range missiles, including submarine-based launches, advancing its capability to reach the U.S. mainland with a nuclear strike.

Both Kim and U.S. Undersecretary of Defense David Shear noted that diplomatic outreach is at a standstill as both Seoul and Washington demand that Pyongyang first take significant action to dismantle its nuclear program before any talks can occur.

“Unfortunately, today there have been no credible signs that North Korea is ready to move down this path,” Shear said.

China   For sanctions to be effective, China’s support remains crucial as it is North Korea’s economic lifeline. Nearly 90 percent of all North Korean trade flows through China.

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in China, said officials in Beijing have doubts that sanctions alone will force Pyongyang to change……..

September 9, 2016 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

North Korea’s grandiose plans for ‘nuclear backpack’ squad, and giant submarine

flag-N-KoreaNorth Korea trains its elite soldiers to use ‘nuclear backpacks’ as individual bombs as it emerges Kim Jong Un wants to build a 3,000 tonne submarine

  • North Korea training ‘outstanding’ troops to join ‘nuclear backpack’ squad
  • They would be ordered to infiltrate South and set off bombs in event of war
  • Pyongyang has tested a submarine-launched missile for the first time
  • Kim Jong Un also wants to built a giant 3,000 tonne submarine 


North Korea is training its elite soldiers to smuggle ‘nuclear backpacks’ across the border with the South before detonating their individual bombs.   Troops from the People’s Army will be trained to enter enemy territory and, in the event of war, unleash their own nuclear bomb. Sources within the secretive country say ‘outstanding’ military personnel have been selected to join the battalion.

It comes as it emerged Kim Jong Un is planning to build a giant 3,000 tonne submarine made from old Russian submarine parts. Defector Kim Heung-kwang claimed the dictator has ordered the huge vessel to be completed by October, 2017. The huge submarine will be capable of carrying four ballistic missiles which can be launched from the vessel.

Meanwhile, there are also plans to create a unit of soldiers capable of carrying their own nuclear weapons. It has yet to be clarified whether Pyongyang intends the unit to be a suicide squad similar to Japanese Kamikaze pilots who attacked warships in the Second World War.

According to Radio Free Asia, formation of the units has been taking place since March and is stationed in the North Hamgyong province. It added that dummy bombs used for training purposes weigh between 22lbs and 62 lbs and rather than generating huge explosions, the back pack bombs would be designed to spray radioactive material over a large area.

News of the unit emerged as it was revealed that North Korea has made considerable progress this year on weapons technology, including testing a submarine-launched missile for the first time.

However, it’s still not clear if the isolated nation has developed a nuclear warhead. It also does not yet have a fleet of submarines that can launch the newly developed missile……….

September 2, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nortyh Korea’s submarine – launched missile

submarine-missileNorth Korea puts ‘another piece in puzzle’ towards nuclear text-relevantcapability, CNBC, @cnbcdavy
26 Aug 16  North Korea’s latest missile test has security analysts admitting that the military-led country is closer than ever to possessing a nuclear missile system capable of attacking another country.
On Wednesday, a North Korean submarine-launched missile flew about 500 kilometers east, landing for the first time in Japan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency reported that regime leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test and described it as “the greatest success and victory”.

Research Analyst in Proliferation and Nuclear Policy at RUSI, Emil Dall, said to CNBC that Wednesday’s launch appears to be North Korea’s most successful missile test.

“It demonstrates Pyongyang’s continued determination to develop a fully-workable nuclear weapon capability, and this is another piece in that puzzle.

Dall said Thursday it was also probable the rogue state now has a nuclear bomb that can fit on the missile.

“Whether North Korea has been able to construct a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on to an intermediate-range missile is uncertain, but should be assumed at this point,” he said via email…….

August 27, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

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.”………

August 27, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment