Jan 19, 2024 10:00 UTC
  • North Korea tests underwater nuclear-capable drone after US-led joint drills

North Korea has carried out a test of its underwater nuclear weaponry system in a demonstration against the joint military exercises conducted this week by the US, South Korea, and Japan, which “seriously” threatened the “security” of Pyongyang.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Friday said that Pyongyang tested “Haeil 5-23”, a nuclear-capable underwater drone, in the waters off its east coast.

The underwater drone test, which has been developing in the East Sea of Korea, comes the second day after the US, South Korean, and Japanese navies held their three-day regular drills alongside the US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, until Wednesday.

“We will never tolerate the reckless military confrontation hysteria,” an unnamed spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement on Friday.

“The US, Japan, and the Republic of Korea are getting frantic in their provocative military exercises from the outset of the year,” they added.

“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 US and its allies.”

Pyongyang “will never condone the enemy’s reckless military confrontation madness.”

“We strongly condemn the reckless actions of the United States and its followers … and solemnly warn of the catastrophic consequences that will result from this,” it said.

“Haeil” which translates to tsunami in Korean, the new weaponry system was first put to trial last year in March, the objective of which was to carry out discreet assaults in hostile maritime territories, effectively neutralizing naval strike formations and strategic ports by unleashing a substantial radioactive surge via an underwater detonation.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un has repeatedly said his government is building up its military arsenal in preparation for war by the West that could "break out at any time" on the peninsula.

Kim also announced earlier this week that North Korea’s goal of reuniting the Korean peninsula was over, as he described the South as its prime enemy.