North Korea says missile tests were practice to attack South, US

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s military says its recent barrage of missile tests were practices to “mercilessly” strike key South Korean and U.S. targets such as air bases and operation command systems with a variety of missiles that likely included nuclear-capable weapons.

The North’s military said Monday its missile tests were reaction to last week’s massive air force drills between the U.S. and South Korea, which Pyongyang views as an invasion rehearsal.

The announcement underscored leader Kim Jong Un’s determination not to back down in the face of his rivals’ push to expand their military exercises. But some experts say Kim also eventually wants to use their drills as an excuse to modernize his nuclear arsenal and increase his leverage in future dealings with Washington and Seoul.

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