Sept. 3 (UPI) -- North Korea simulated a tactical nuclear attack with mock nuclear warheads to warn the United States of its nuclear capabilities, the nation's state news agency announced Sunday.
The exercise took place early Saturday and included testing of the North Korean military's launch approval system. Two long-range cruise missiles were loaded and fired in the procedure to emulate an actual attack, the North's official Korean Central News Agency reports.
The news agency said the simulation was performed in response to the annual joint exercise between the United States and South Korea, which was completed on Thursday.
"The recklessness and danger of the confrontation hysteria recently revealed by the US and the gangsters of the 'Republic of Korea' are unprecedented in history," the statement read. "The Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea issued an order to conduct a relevant military drill to demonstrate to the full the action will and capability to deter the enemies' attempts for a war of aggression."
The South Korean military detected multiple cruise missiles that North Korea fired into the Yellow Sea early Saturday. It was the 18th missile test North Korea has completed this year, a significant increase from years past.
North Korea called Saturday's simulation a success and indicated its military will continue to "bolster up" its nuclear preparations.
The Central Military Commission called on "all the service personnel of the nuclear force to maintain high alertness and mobilized posture" to make the United States and South Korea "understand more clearly the situation that has reached a serious threat through the overpowering exercise of the war deterrence," the news agency said.