On Sunday, a North Korean submarine fired two strategic cruise missiles towards the Japanese sea. This happened hours before the United States and South Korea started joint military exercises in the region.
The two missiles hit a simulated target after flying 1,500 kilometers with eight-shaped flight orbits for just over two hours. The submarine fired these missiles from Kyongpho Bay in North Hamgyong Province.
“This exercise showed the North Korean government’s invariable determination to confront the maneuvers of U.S. imperialism and its puppet South Korea against our country,” the North Korean KCNA agency reported.
On Monday, South Korea and the United States started the so-called “Freedom Shield,” the largest joint exercises they have developed together in the last five years.
The respected General Secretary Kim Jong Un sent to the Ryonpho Greenhouse Farm vehicles and lots of equipment needed in putting the greenhouse vegetable production on an intensive and industrial basis of higher level.#DPRK #NorthKorea pic.twitter.com/ZbWntEIL26
— Pyongyang Today (@Pyongyang_Today) March 13, 2023
“These drills seek to strengthen our defense capabilities and focus on specific scenarios to guarantee regional security”, United States Forces in Korea (USFK) stated.
“These exercises, which will last until March 23, will allow implementing lessons learned recently from other wars and conflicts,” it added.
The North Korean government warned that it considers such military maneuvers, which comprise simulating attacks against facilities in its country, as a declaration of war.
“We announce important practical measures against these deterrent war assets,” North Korea stated, stressing that the Freedom Shield drills express the hostile policy towards Pyongyang.