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North Korea announces testing 'underwater nuclear attack drone'

File photo shows a North Korea flag fluttering next to the country's Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

North Korea says it has tested, what it calls, an underwater nuclear attack drone capable of inflicting substantial damage to enemy targets.

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) carried the report on Friday, saying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had personally overseen the test.

Images released by Pyongyang's Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed a smiling Kim and what appeared to be an underwater explosion.

"This nuclear underwater attack drone can be deployed at any coast and port or towed by a surface ship for operation," the KCNA's report said.

The weapon's mission is to "stealthily infiltrate into operational waters and make a super-scale radioactive destroy naval striker groups and major operational ports of the enemy," it added.

The report, meanwhile, blamed archenemies, the United States and South Korea, for causing the deterioration of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula through their back-to-back military exercises.

The allies launched the most recent of the military drills, dubbed "Freedom Shield 23," last Monday. The 11-day drills were held on a scale not seen since 2017, featuring field exercises, including amphibious landings.

Pyongyang views the war games as potential rehearsals for the invasion of its territory.

The KCNA likewise described the Freedom Shield as a drill for "occupying" North Korea. Pyongyang's "underwater nuclear attack drone" drill had been held "to alert the enemy to an actual nuclear crisis," the agency added.

Earlier this week, Kim urged enhancement of the country's nuclear force's capability to the level of becoming ready for an actual "attack" against the enemy.

The North Korean leader said at the time that the North "cannot actually deter a war with the mere fact that it is a nuclear weapons state," according to the KCNA. The country could only reach its goals, he added, "when the nuclear force is perfected as a means of actually capable of mounting an attack on the enemy."

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