DPRK says firing of projectiles was 'routine and self-defensive' drill

Chen Zhuo
2019-05-10 10:48:16
DPRK's leader Kim Jong Un supervises a military drill in DPRK in the May 4, 2019 photo supplied by KCNA

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Wednesday its recent firing of short-range projectiles was part of a "regular" and "self-defensive" training, according to state media KCNA.

The DPRK fired a barrage of short-range projectiles off its east coast Saturday morning.

"The recent drill conducted by our army is nothing more than part of the regular military training and it has neither targeted anyone nor led to an aggravation of the situation in the region," a spokesperson from DPRK's Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency.

The spokesperson also said the drill was "obviously different from the war exercises waged by some countries against other sovereign states," adding that there was a double standard, with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the U.S. carrying out military drills with little criticism.

"Only our regular and self-defensive military drill is branded as provocative, and this is an undisguised manifestation of the attempt to press the gradual disarmament of our state and finally invade us," the spokesperson said.

"We think this is very much unpleasant and regrettable, and we sound a note of warning," the spokesperson added.

DPRK's military conducts a "strike drill" for multiple launchers and tactical guided weapon, May 4, 2019. /KCNA Photo via Reuters

Saturday's drill was the first test of a ballistic missile by the DPRK since it launched a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017.

It came in the wake of talks with the U.S. and the ROK stalling in February and raised alarms in both countries, which have been seeking to entice the DPRK into abandoning its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

The ROK responded Saturday by calling on its northern neighbor to "stop acts that escalate military tension on the Korean Peninsula."

Also on Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed optimism that he can make a deal with Kim in his tweet, claiming that he is "with Kim" and believed the DPRK leader will do nothing to interfere with or end "the great economic potential" of his country.

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