The testing of the purported “nuclear underwater attack drone” was part of a three-day exercise that simulated nuclear attacks on unspecified South Korean targets, which also included cruise missile launches Wednesday
This picture released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency Friday shows the underwater nuclear strategic attack weapon system “Haeil” off the coast of Riwon County, East Korea Bay. Pic/AFP
North Korea claimed Friday to have tested a nuclear-capable underwater drone designed to generate a gigantic “radioactive tsunami” that would destroy naval strike groups and ports. Analysts were skeptical that the device presents a major new threat, but the test underlines the North’s commitment to raising nuclear threats.
The test this week came as the United States reportedly planned to deploy aircraft carrier strike groups and other advanced assets to waters off the Korean Peninsula. Military tensions are at a high point as the pace of both North Korean weapons tests and U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises has accelerated in the past year in a cycle of tit-for-tat responses.
Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said the new weapon, which can be deployed from the coast or towed by surface ships, is built to “stealthily infiltrate into operational waters and make a super-scale radioactive tsunami through an underwater explosion” to destroy enemy naval strike groups and ports.
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The testing of the purported “nuclear underwater attack drone” was part of a three-day exercise that simulated nuclear attacks on unspecified South Korean targets, which also included cruise missile launches Wednesday.
KCNA said the North’s latest tests were aimed at alerting the United States and South Korea of a brewing “nuclear crisis” as they continue with their “intentional, persistent and provocative war drills.” It said the tests were supervised by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who vowed to make his rivals “plunge into despair.”
The North Korean drone is named “Haeil,” a Korean word meaning tidal waves or tsunamis.
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