In what processor mode does ntoskrnl.exe run?

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ntoskrnl.exe application
In what processor mode does ntoskrnl.exe run? If it runs in "kernel" mode (logical, as it is said to contain the kernel image), and "applications" are defined as any program that runs in "user" mode (as opposed to "kernel" mode), then why does Windows refer to it (ntoskrnl.exe) as an "application"? This occurs many different places within the user interface screens such as listing its' "filetype" as "application" and stating that any file with a ".exe" file extension is an application. This seems totally contradictory.
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