North Korea test-fires new weapons system

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un giving guidance while attending a flight training Korean Peoples Army Air Force at an undisclosed location on April 16, 2019. Photo: KCNA
North Korean chief Kim Jong Un giving steering whereas attending a flight coaching Korean Folks’s Military Air Drive at an undisclosed location on April 16, 2019. Photograph: KCNA

SEOUL: North Korea has test-fired a brand new weapons system, below the supervision of chief Kim Jong Un, that it claims will increase the effectivity of its tactical nuclear weapons, state media stated early Sunday.

The “new-type tactical guided weapon… is of nice significance in drastically enhancing the firepower of the frontline long-range artillery items and enhancing the effectivity within the operation of tactical nukes,” the official Korean Central Information Company reported, with out specifying when the take a look at befell.

It stated the take a look at was profitable.

Kim gave a navy analysis staff “essential directions on additional build up the defence capabilities and nuclear fight forces,” the report added.

Images carried by the Rodong Sinmun newspaper confirmed a grinning Kim — surrounded by uniformed officers — applauding as he watched what it stated was the test-firing of the weapon.

On Friday, North Korea marked the birthday of North Korea’s founding chief, Kim’s grandfather Kim Il Sung, with an enormous public procession, fireworks and synchronised dancing — however no navy parade as many observers had predicted.

Analysts and South Korean and US officers additionally had thought a nuclear take a look at was doable on the essential anniversary.

The anniversary celebrations got here three weeks after North Korea staged its largest intercontinental ballistic missile take a look at ever — the primary time Kim’s strongest weapon had been fired at full vary since 2017.

That take a look at was the fruits of a record-breaking blitz of sanctions-busting launches this 12 months and signalled an finish to a self-imposed moratorium on long-range and nuclear checks.

Lengthy-range and nuclear checks have been paused since Kim met then-US president Donald Trump for a bout of doomed diplomacy, which collapsed in 2019.

Officers and analysts say North Korea might perform its seventh nuclear take a look at within the coming weeks.

Satellite tv for pc imagery has proven indicators of recent exercise at a tunnel on the Punggye-ri nuclear testing website, which North Korea stated was demolished in 2018 forward of the primary Trump-Kim summit.

North Korea has examined nuclear weapons six occasions since 2006 and touted the success of its final and strongest one in 2017 — a hydrogen bomb with an estimated yield of 250 kilotons.

With a brand new nuclear take a look at, specialists say Pyongyang will search to miniaturise nuclear warheads to mount on its ICBMs.

South Korean officers have stated Pyongyang might nonetheless stage a navy parade or perform a weapons take a look at on or round April 25, the anniversary of the founding of the Korean Folks’s Military.

That anniversary coincides with the joint navy workout routines between Seoul and Washington, which is because of begin on Monday.

South Korea and the US often stage navy workout routines, however Pyongyang has lengthy protested the drills as a rehearsal for conflict.

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