Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday ordered his army to prepare new nuclear tests amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula due to international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang and joint military maneuvers by Seoul and Washington.
Kim highlighted the need to “make nuclear strikes at the enemies from anywhere on the ground, in the air, at sea and underwater”, according to North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The North Korean leader made the remarks while attending a ballistic missile launch, according to KCNA, without divulging when or where it took place.
According to KCNA, Jong-un “gave the military tasks to conduct more nuclear explosion tests to estimate the destructive power of the newly produced nuclear warheads and other tests to bolster up the nuclear attack capability”.
On Wednesday, North Korea fired two powerful short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan, at a time of maximum pressure on the country due to new and tougher UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang and military exercises currently held by South Korea and the US.
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South Korea believes that they were Scud-type missiles, which would be the first time so far in 2016 that the North Korean People’s Army launched this kind of missile, which was developed in the Soviet Union six decades ago.
Pyongyang has stepped up its bellicose rhetoric and its displays of military might since the adaptation of new international sanctions against the country, following its fourth nuclear test on January 6 and the launch of a space rocket on February 7, which many consider a disguised ballistic missile test.