US & World

North Korea 'tests new high-tech weapon'


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Kim Jong-un expressed “great satisfaction” over “state-of-the-art” weapon, North Korea’s media say

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has supervised the successful test of a new “high-tech” tactical weapon, state-run media say.

The KCNA news agency gave no details on the type of the weapon, saying only it had been developed over a long period.

But it is the first known inspection of a major weapons test in a year.

In a summit in June Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump agreed the Korean peninsula should denuclearise, but a detailed plan was never set out.

Discussions aimed at setting up a second summit between Mr Kim and Mr Trump did not happen as planned this week and relations between the North and the US appear to have soured since the historic meeting in Singapore.

North Korean state media provided no details as to what kind of weapon this was, but it comes shortly after a report based on satellite imagery identified the extent of North’s complex network of missile bases around the country.

South Korea says it is in the process of analysing what the weapon is, but many have pointed out that the North made no commitment to halt any weapons development or shut down its missile bases.

What did the North’s media say?

“Kim Jong-un inspected the testing of a newly developed high-tech tactical weapon at the Academy of National Defence Science,” the KCNA reported.

“The testing of the high-tech tactical weapon has been carried out successfully.”

The news agency added that Mr Kim expressed “great satisfaction” over “state-of-the-art” weapon that “builds impregnable defences of our country and strengthens the fighting power of our people’s army”.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s unification ministry said it was Mr Kim’s first known inspection of a testing site since he was present at the launch of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental missile in November 2017.

The ministry said it believed this time Mr Kim was supervising the test of a traditional weapon because the term “strategic weapon” was not used by the KCNA.



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