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North Korea

North Korea tests more missiles as Kim Jong Un vows to increase navy strength

It marks North Korea’s fourth round of cruise missile tests already in 2024.

SOUTH KOREA’S MILITARY has detected North Korea firing multiple cruise missiles into the sea off its western coast.

It marks North Korea’s fourth round of cruise missile tests already in 2024.

US and South Korean militaries are analysing the launches. 

North Korean state media reported yesterday that leader Kim Jong Un had outlined plans to strengthen naval forces as he inspected the construction of new warships at a shipyard.

He reportedly called such projects crucial to the country’s war preparations.

Kim’s visit to the shipyard in Nampho came after weapons demonstrations in January that increased tensions with its rivals, including the tests of new cruise missiles designed to be launched from submarines.

In recent months, the North Korean leader has been emphasising his goals of building a nuclear-armed navy to counter what he portrays as growing external threats posed by the US, South Korea and Japan, which have stepped up their military cooperation to cope with Kim’s nuclear weapons and missile programme.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) did not specify when Kim visited Nampho, paraphrasing him as saying the strengthening of his naval force “presents itself as the most important issue in reliably defending the maritime sovereignty of the country and stepping up the war preparations”.

KCNA did not specify the types of warships being built in Nampho but said they were related to a five-year military development plan set during a ruling party congress in early 2021.

During the inspection, Kim was briefed on the progress of his naval projects and remaining technological challenges and ordered workers to “unconditionally” complete the efforts within the timeframe of the plan that runs through 2025, KCNA said.

Kim Inae, spokesperson of South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said: “By making military threats routine, North Korea is trying to create a sense of insecurity among South Korean people to undermine trust in their government and to attract international attention to build an atmosphere in which its demands must be accepted to resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.”

Press Association