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N. Korea advances toward field deployment of tactical nuclear weapons

The North Korean government recently ordered the Missile General Bureau and the General Bureau of Equipment of the Ministry of Defense to cooperate more closely in the field deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, Daily NK has learned.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source in the North Korean military told Daily NK on Wednesday that the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea issued the orders to the bureaus on Mar. 22.

“These orders from the Central Military Commission are aimed at deploying nuclear weapons in the field and strengthening their operational capability. Specifically, the commission explicitly ordered the planning, conduct and evaluation of tests to pave the way for the field deployment of weapon systems capable of delivering nuclear strikes,” the source said.

He went on to say that the purpose of these orders is to emphasize the importance of cooperation between the Missile General Bureau and the General Bureau of Equipment of the Ministry of Defense in order to strengthen the country’s nuclear strike capability and speed up the field deployment and operation of nuclear weapons.

The Central Military Commission believes that better cooperation between the Missile General Bureau, which is in charge of missile development and operation, and the General Bureau of Equipment, which is in charge of field deployment inspection, procurement and supply for the Korean People’s Army (KPA), is needed to upgrade and diversify the North’s nuclear weapons and missile capabilities.

“The Workers’ Party has announced that planning and conducting tests to assess the reliability and durability of the weapons to be deployed in the field are critical tasks, along with the simultaneous development of various types of warheads and launchers,” the source said.

The tests are designed to verify not only that the weapon systems function properly and can evade enemy defense systems to reach their targets, but also that orders can be delivered quickly and accurately under all circumstances. Furthermore, the tests are aimed at ensuring communication systems can be hardened against the enemy’s electronic countermeasures, the source said.

The Central Military Commission also ordered the two bureaus to report to the party after conducting tests to improve and diversify the KPA’s nuclear strike capability, the source added.

North Korea’s apparent strategy is to develop tactical nuclear weapons and quickly deploy and operate them in the field to project more military strength, which could give it an edge in future nuclear talks.

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler. 

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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Read in Korean

March 29, 2024 at 06:30AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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