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N Korea at crossroads

U.S., South Korea eye tabletop drills on North Korean nuclear attack

Official stresses importance of deterrence, alliance with Seoul amid rift fears

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observes a tactical weapons test in April 2022. He listed the mass-production of tactical nuclear weapons as one of the country's goals for 2023. (KCNA via Reuters)

TOKYO/SEOUL -- South Korea and the U.S. are planning tabletop military exercises against a potential nuclear attack by North Korea, a senior U.S. official has said, as Pyongyang signals a push to produce more nuclear weapons in 2023.

"The DPRK's actions and statements have caused increasing concern," a senior U.S. official told Nikkei on Monday, referring to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

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