North Korea claims it tested nuclear-capable underwater drone capable of destroying naval vessels and ports

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North Korea tested a nuclear-capable underwater attack drone designed to destroy naval vessels and ports, it said Friday.

North Korea’s military said it conducted the test in the country’s eastern waters in response to naval drills by the U.S., South Korea and Japan which ended Wednesday. The underwater drone is among a broad range of weapon systems North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un continues to test and develop as he expands his arsenal of nuclear-capable weapons.

“Our army’s underwater nuke-based countering posture is being further rounded off and its various maritime and underwater responsive actions will continue to deter the hostile military maneuvers of the navies of the U.S. and its allies,” North Korea’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

It added: “We strongly denounce the U.S. and its followers for their reckless acts of seriously threatening the security of (North Korea) from the outset of the year and sternly warn them of the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by them.”

KIM JONG UN MOVES TO MODIFY NORTH KOREAN CONSTITUTION, WRITE IN SOUTH KOREA AS ‘NO. 1 ENEMY’

Kim Jong Un

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un scrapped the idea of a peaceful reunification with South Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

North Korea did not specify when the test occurred. It first tested the drone last year.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen to their highest point in years, with the test of the drone coming days after the North Korean dictator declared he would be scrapping the idea of a peaceful reunification with South Korea.

Naval ships

In this photo provided by South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, left, sails with South Korea and Japan’s destroyers in the international waters of the southern coast of Korean peninsular during a recent joint drill in 2024. The three countries conducted combined naval drills that ended Wednesday, Jan. 17. (South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff via AP)

He also said his country would rewrite its constitution to define South Korea as its most hostile foreign adversary.

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North Korea conducted its first ballistic missile test of 2024 on Sunday. It was described as a new solid-fuel, intermediate-range missile tipped with a hypersonic warhead, potentially capable of striking U.S. military bases in Guam and Japan.

Planes flying in formation

In this photo provided by the South Korean Defense Ministry, U.S. B-52H bombers, center, and F-16 fighter jets and South Korean Air Force F-35A fighter jets, right bottom, fly over the Korean Peninsula during a joint air drill in South Korea on April 14, 2023. North Korea has condemned these exercises as provocations. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

South Korea’s Defense Ministry has disputed the capabilities of the drone and has denounced North Korea’s recent tests as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

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The South has said Kim’s nuclear ambitions are a threat to “peace in the Korean Peninsula and the world.” It also said the U.S. and South Korean militaries would remain firm against possible North Korean provocations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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