FILE NORTH KOREA BALLISTIC MISSILES TEST.jpg
A file picture dated October 2010 and made available by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows 'Musudan' missiles displayed during a military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Photograph: EPA/KCNA -- SOUTH KOREA OUT

North Korea's recent missile tests were to practice pre-emptive strikes against South Korea, Pyongyang said Wednesday.

North Korea launched three missiles early Tuesday from Hwangju in North Hwanghae Province, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.

The drills "simulated conditions of making pre-emptive strikes at ports and airfields" in South Korea "where the US imperialists' nuclear war hardware is to be [deployed]," Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

North Hwanghae Province borders South Korea.

The drills "examined the operational features of the detonating devices for nuclear warheads,” KCNA said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "provided field guidance" for the drills, the KCNA report said.

He said he was satisfied with what KCNA called a "successful drill."

North Korean paper Rodong Sinmun published photos of the rockets being launched and Kim with a map of the region.

The Korean People's Army in a statement from its Panmunjom mission said that US forces in South Korea would be the first target of any attack, Yonhap reported. The "puppet" forces in South Korea would be the next target, it said.

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