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France's Macron Visits Nuclear Submarine, Simulates Launch

  • Associated Press

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) listens to explanations in front of a nuclear submarine as part of his visit to the Ile Longue Defence unit, submarine navy base, in Crozon, near Brest, western France, July 4, 2017.

French President Emmanuel Macron is taking part in a missile launch simulation aboard a nuclear submarine in the Atlantic to signal his commitment to the country's nuclear deterrent.

The simulation is part of a daylong visit to nuclear weapons facilities Tuesday on the Ile Longue base off the Brittany coast. It comes just after North Korea announced that it had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Macron's office says he is visiting a warhead assembly and testing facility, then spending a few hours underwater in the Atlantic aboard the nuclear submarine "The Terrible," where he will take part in a simulated missile launch.

France will be the only EU country with nuclear weapons after Britain's departure. According to the French constitution, it's the president who decides whether to fire nuclear missiles.

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