U.S., South Korea hold drills as North sub test-fires missiles

The South Korean and U.S. militaries launched their biggest joint exercises in years Monday while North Korea said it tested submarine-fired cruise missiles in an apparent protest of the drills it views as an invasion rehearsal.
The South Korean-U.S. drills include a computer simulation and several combined field training exercises. South Korean officials said the field exercises would return to the scale of the allies’ earlier largest field training that was last held in 2018.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said that the launches of two cruise missiles from a submarine off its east coast showed a resolve to respond with “overwhelming powerful” force to the intensifying military maneuvers by “the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces.”
KCNA called the missiles “strategic” weapons and said their firings verified the posture of the country’s “nuclear war deterrence.”
It said the missiles flew more than two hours, drawing figure-eight-shaped patterns and demonstrating an ability to hit targets 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) away. The missiles were fired from the 8.24 Yongung ship, KCNA said, referencing a submarine that North Korea used to conduct its first submarine-launched ballistic missile test in 2016.

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