North Korea says missile launches were not warnings, but practice for attack

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un
North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un Photo by API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

North Korea military officials said Monday that a recent slate of missile launches was part of a plan to "[simulate] the attack" on South Korean and American targets, Axios reported.

The hermit state has fired off a series of missiles in the past few weeks, and previously said the weapons were a warning to the largest-ever joint South Korean-U.S. air drills that took place over the Korean Peninsula in recent days. However, North Korea has now said the drills were practice for a full-scale attack on the Korean Peninsula, per Axios. 

"All the military operations attained their planned goal with success and the high ability of conducting operations of our army was estimated satisfactorily," North Korean military officials said in a news release by the state-run KCNA News Agency.

According to the news release, North Korea fired off a barrage of various weapons, including "five tactical ballistic missiles of different kinds and 46 long-range missiles of multiple launch rocket system," as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMS).

South Korea has previously confirmed the attacks took place, confirming that North Korea had previously fired a missile over the country's maritime border. However, some details of the North Korean operation were disputed, with South Korean military spokesperson Kim Jun-rak telling The Associated Press that certain cruise missiles were not detected. Kim added that South Korea had also assessed an "abnormal flight" from an ICBM that North Korean officials had notably not mentioned in their news release.

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