North Korea’s Kim watches cruise missile launches

KCNA didn’t say when the missile launches happened, and a state media photo showed Kim watching the launch of a missile from another place, not on the patrol boat. KCNA’s use of the word “strategic” in reference to the tested weapons implied they were developed to carry nuclear warheads.

Kim said he would bolster efforts to build powerful warships and modernize shipboard and underwater weapons systems for the North’s navy. He called for the country’s sailors to build “overwhelming ideological and spiritual strength,” saying that is more important than numerical or technical superiority of weapons, according to KCNA.

North Korea was widely expected to resume weapons tests in reaction to the summer U.S.-South Korean military training that began Monday for an 11-day run.

The “Ulchi Freedom Shield” training is a computer-simulated command post exercise. The U.S. and South Korean militaries said they also plan conduct large-scale field exercises as well.

North Korea has slammed major U.S.-South Korean drills as practice for an invasion and has responded to them with missile tests. U.S. and South Korean officials maintain the exercises are defensive in nature and they have no intention of attacking the North.

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