North Korea fires suspected artillery pieces in suspected weapons system upgrade

North Korea The South Korean military on Sunday fired a test at suspected artillery pieces in the sea, days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for increased defense capacity to deal with outside threats.

South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said in a statement it detected several flight paths believed to be North Korean artillery on Sunday morning.

It said South Korea maintains strong military preparedness in close cooperation with the United States amid strengthened surveillance of North Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee to be held June 8-10, 2022 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Independent journalists were denied access to report on the event depicted in this image, distributed by the North Korean government. (AP)

At a National Security Council meeting called to discuss the suspected launches, South Korean officials expressed concern about upgrading weapons systems that pose a direct threat to South Korea and reaffirmed their commitment to such North Korean efforts. tough approach, according to South Korea’s presidential election. office.

The North’s artillery tests attract less outside attention than the missile launches.

But the forward-positioned long-range artillery guns pose a serious threat to the security of South Korea’s densely populated metropolitan region, which lies just 40-50 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

North Korea fires suspected artillery pieces in suspected weapons system upgrade
This is a file photo from 2017 when North Korea launched a missile. (AP)

The suspected artillery launches were the latest in a wave of weapons tests by North Korea this year in what foreign experts call an effort to pressure its rivals Washington and Seoul to relax international sanctions against Pyongyang and make other concessions.

South Korean and US officials recently said North Korea was nearing completion of preparations for its first nuclear test in about five years.

In March, North Korea launched a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the US mainland in violation of a 2018 moratorium on major missile tests.

Speaking at a ruling party meeting last week, Kim underlined the need to strengthen his country’s military capabilities, saying the current security environment is “very serious”.

North Korean Hwasong-17 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Launch
A test fire of a Hwasong-17 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). (Korea News Service via AP)

Kim’s speech by state media made no mention of the United States or South Korea.

But he still set out “militant duties” to be pursued by his armed forces and scientists, suggesting that he continue with his high-profile weapons-building plans.

A possible new nuclear test by North Korea would be the seventh of its kind.

Some experts say North Korea will likely use the test to build nuclear warheads that can be mounted on tactical nuclear weapons to hit targets in South Korea.

North Korea fires suspected artillery pieces in suspected weapons system upgrade

Kim Jong Un pledges to ramp up nuclear weapons development

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