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19 Jan, 2024 03:16

North Korea tests ‘underwater nuclear weapon system’

Pyongyang said the trial would help deter “hostile military maneuvers” by Washington and its allies
North Korea tests ‘underwater nuclear weapon system’

North Korea has carried out a test of a newly developed “underwater nuclear weapon system,” its armed forces have said, calling the move a response to joint military drills by the United States, South Korea and Japan.

A military spokesperson announced the test in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) early on Friday morning, citing “provocative military exercises” held around the Korean peninsula in recent weeks.

“In response, the Underwater Weapon System Institute under the DPRK Academy of Defence Science conducted an important test of its underwater nuclear weapon system ‘Haeil-5-23’ under development in the East Sea of Korea,” the statement said, adding that the test helped to develop Pyongyong’s “underwater nuke-based countering posture.”

The spokesperson went on to denounce “military gangsters” in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo for “seriously threatening the security of the DPRK,” warning of “catastrophic consequences” should they continue their war games in the region.

Pyongyang carried out several similar tests last year, including a “nuclear unmanned underwater attack boat” in March, which it had previously dubbed a “secret weapon.” Unnamed military officials said the naval drone could create a “radioactive tsunami” using underwater explosions and “annihilate enemy ship groups” without detection.

It was not immediately clear whether the latest trial involved a newer model of the same weapon.

Friday’s test came amid rising tensions between the two Koreas, with Seoul conducting a flurry of live-fire war games alongside Washington over the last year despite repeated warnings from the North. The DPRK has responded with its own shows of force, including numerous weapon tests.

Highlighting the growing hostilities, South Korea announced last week that it would scrap a 2018 security pact with Pyongyang which halted military exercises along the North-South border, citing a recent North Korean artillery drill in the area.