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Kim Jong Un Defends Missile Tests As Response to U.S.-South Korea Provocation: 'Need To Strike Fear Into Enemies'

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un on Friday said the recent missile launches were “needed to strike fear into the enemies.”

What Happened: Kim blamed the U.S. and South Korea for their “frantic, provocative and aggressive” war drills, according to a KCNA press release.

On Thursday, Kim attended the launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile with his daughter, as South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol was due to meet his Japanese counterpart in Tokyo.

Kim said the test was prompted by “the frantic, provocative and aggressive large-scale war drills conducted by the US and the south Korean puppet traitors.”

“The launching drill of the strategic weapon serves as an occasion to give a stronger warning to the enemies intentionally escalating the tension in the Korean peninsula,” he said, according to state media.

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North Korea is “persistently resorting to irresponsible and reckless military threats in defiance of the DPRK’s severe warning, and give an understanding of the concern about [an] armed conflict which has come to a threatening reality, and to more clearly show the practical will…to counterattack with overwhelming offensive measures anytime,” it added.

The U.S. and South Korea earlier this week began their largest military exercise in years, which will include simulations as well as live demonstrations in the sea, air and on land. North Korea has long opposed such joint exercises on the pretext that they serve as rehearsals for an invasion.

Pyongyang has fired at least 10 missiles in the past two weeks — four this week and at least six last week — after Kim ordered his army to prepare for “real war.”

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