N. Korea Fired 4 Strategic Cruise Missiles Thurs.: KCNA


Seoul, Feb. 24 (Jiji Press)--North Korea successfully test-fired four strategic cruise missiles into the Sea of Japan on Thursday in what it described as an important part of Pyongyang's "nuclear deterrent," the Korean Central News Agency said Friday.

The firing drill "reconfirmed the reliability of the weapon system and examined the rapid response posture of strategic cruise missile units that constitute one of major forces of the DPRK nuclear deterrent," the state-run news agency said. DPRK is the abbreviation for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Four "Hwasal-2" strategic cruise missiles were launched from the area of the city of Kim Chaek in North Hamgyong Province in northeastern North Korea, the news agency reported. The KCNA said that the missiles precisely hit their target over the Sea of Japan after traveling 2,000 kilometers in about two hours and 50 minutes on an oval and figure-eight path. They are believed to be capable of reaching Japan.

"The drill clearly demonstrated once again the war posture of the DPRK nuclear combat force bolstering up in every way its deadly nuclear counterattack capability against the hostile forces," the report said, underscoring the combat readiness of cruise missiles that can be mounted with nuclear weapons.

The drill came after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile into Sea of Japan waters within Japan's exclusive economic zone on Saturday and two short-range ballistic missiles on Monday. On Wednesday, Japan, the United States and South Korea conducted a joint exercise using Aegis system-equipped destroyers in the Sea of Japan on dealing with ballistic missiles.

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