North Korea, Seoul: “Cruise missiles launched by Pyongyang intercepted”

North Korea launched several cruise missiles last night. The South Korean army reports this in a note: “We intercepted several unidentified cruise missiles launched near the waters of Sinpo at 8am (midnight Italian time),” says the South Korean General Staff.

The tests

In recent days, Pyongyang tested the Pulhwasal-3-31 missile, still under development but is “strategic” with nuclear capabilities. “The launches had no impact on the security of neighboring countries and has nothing to do with the regional situation,” reported the official KCNA agency, according to which the operation was also part of the process of upgrading the defense system of Pyongyang, according to the Missile Administration. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said they believed the launch was aimed at testing upgrades to existing missile capabilities through several tests toward the Yellow Sea off its western coast. The North’s program on cruise missiles with possible nuclear capability began in September 2021. These are launchers that arouse less interest than ballistic ones because they are not explicitly prohibited by UN Security Council resolutions, but they still represent a serious threat.

The tensions

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have increased in recent months in the wake of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s military strengthening plans. Meanwhile, Seoul said it was starting mass production of medium-altitude reconnaissance drones with the aim of deploying them in 2027 to improve surveillance capabilities and contribute to defense exports. While the exercises of the South Korean special forces continue off the east coast of the country, “in light of the serious security situations” with North Korea.