N Korea’s Kim oversees cruise missile test as Seoul, US start drills 

 SEOUL - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a navy unit and over­saw a strategic cruise missile test, state media reported on Monday, ahead of the start of joint military drills between Seoul and Washington. Kim inspected one of his fleets in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, and watched as the crew staged a drill launching “strategic cruise missiles,” state-run news agency KCNA reported. The drill “aimed to reconfirm the combat function of the ship and the feature of its missile system and make the sea­men skilled at carrying out the attack mission in actual war,” the report said. It did not say when the visit took place, or give further de­tails on the types of missiles launched -- though it said they “rapidly hit target with­out even an error”. But Seoul said the KCNA report was “exaggerated and contained many discrepancies from the truth”. “Both South Korea and the United States had been monitoring any related signs -- which we detected in ad­vance -- in real-time,” Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. North Korea’s an­nouncement came as the an­nual Ulchi Freedom Shield drills, a major joint exercise between Seoul and Washing­ton, kicked off Monday.

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