- North Korea recently launched a barrage of missile tests and several strikes were aimed Alsom Island.
- Military expert Joseph Dempsey dubbed Alsom Kim Jong Un's "most hated rock."
- Dempsey said the rocky outcrop is likely used by Kim as proof that North Korea can strike well-defined targets.
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North Korea has been ramping up the testing of the country's nuclear capabilities, carrying out a series of missile tests in January that analysts say appears to be the country's boldest in years.
However, a military expert has pinpointed a specific rocky outcrop that appears to have been a target of multiple strikes. In January, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un launched at least eight rockets at Alsom, a pile of rocks 18 kilometres from the northeastern coast of North Korea known as "No Man's Land," Bloomberg reported. Kim has sent more than 25 missiles toward the island since 2019, per Bloomberg, leading military expert Joseph Dempsey to dub the outcrop Kim's "most hated rock."In a tweet chain in January, Dempsey highlighted how Alsom — which is only around 2,800 feet long — had been used multiple times to test the accuracy of Kim's missiles, showing how North Korea was capable of hitting its targets.
"This relatively small and well-defined target presents a good way to demonstrate the apparent increased accuracy of these systems, particularly for propaganda purposes," Dempsey told Bloomberg.
According to the South Korean newspaper Dong-a Ilbo, Alsom also houses a 10-metre-wide domed structure that South Korean analysts say might be a substitute target built to resemble a government building in Seoul.North Korea's missile testing has become increasingly aggressive this year. On January 11, the South Korean military said that the North had fired off a "more advanced" missile capable of reaching Mach 10, or ten times the speed of sound. This missile flew 435 miles before landing in the East Sea. The North Koreans have also been defiant in the face of international pressure, firing off two short-range ballistic missiles on January 14 after the US imposed fresh sanctions. In late September, North Korea also tested a "hypersonic missile" dubbed Hwasong-8.