A few hours before the planned start of large-scale military maneuvers by the United States and South Korea, North Korea claims to have tested two strategic cruise missiles. A submarine fired the cruise missiles out of the sea off the coastal town of Sinpo in the east of the country on Sunday morning, the state news agency KCNA reported on Monday night (local time).
The test took place shortly before the planned start of the multi-day military exercise "Freedom Shield", with which the USA and South Korea say they are reacting to the "changed security environment" in the region due to North Korea's increased aggression. Pyongyang had warned in advance that the maneuvers could be construed as a "declaration of war".
Pyongyang sees such military exercises as a test run for an invasion. At the end of last year, North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un declared his country a nuclear power. On Friday, KCNA reported that Kim had ordered military maneuvers for a "real war."
The military tensions on the Korean peninsula have recently increased drastically. The communist leadership in Pyongyang has repeatedly threatened a military escalation in the region. In the face of North Korea's ongoing provocations, South Korea and the United States have increased their defense cooperation.