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North Korea conducts artillery fire drill after US-South joint exercise

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This combination of pictures taken on October 19, 2021 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 20, 2021 shows test fire of a new type submarine-launched ballistic missile in an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Photo by AFP)

North Korea has conducted an artillery fire drill to bolster its defense capabilities days after Washington and Seoul kicked off their latest joint military aerial exercise​​​​​.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Sunday that mechanized troops of the country had conducted an "artillery fire competition" the previous day.

It added that the competition was held to see how well the mechanized troops carried out the exercises with the aim of increasing their mobile artillery combat capabilities.

Since September, North Korea has test-launched a series of newly developed missiles, including nuclear-capable weapons. 

The country is under harsh UN sanctions for its missile and nuclear activities.

On Monday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that despite Pyongyang’s repeated objections to Seoul and Washington, the US and South Korean military forces began a five-day joint air defense exercise that involved some 200 aircraft.

North Korea regards the South's joint exercises with American forces as a rehearsal for invasion and insists that the North's efforts are defensive in nature.

Pyongyang says countries criticizing the North for its defensive military drills apply "double standards."

With dialog at a standstill, US officials have expressed a willingness to meet with their North Korean counterparts in order to resume denuclearization talks.

Pyongyang, however, has dismissed the US offer of dialog as a "petty trick," accusing Washington of pursuing a hostile policy toward North Korea.

 


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