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19 June


North Korea has test-fired a new-type tactical guided weapon

It is first experiment after talks between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump

Photo: AP

/NOVOSTIVL/ North Korea has test-fired a “new-type tactical guided weapon,” its state media announced on Thursday, a move that could be an attempt to register the country’s displeasure with currently deadlocked nuclear talks with the US without causing those coveted negotiations to collapse. This article appeared in Associated Press.

The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, observed the firing by the Academy of Defence Science of the unspecified weapon on Wednesday, the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said. Kim was reported to have said that “the development of the weapon system serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People’s Army”.

Kim reportedly mounted an observation post to guide and learn about the test-fire. This is the first known time the North Korean leader has observed the testing of a newly developed weapon system since last November, when local media said he observed the successful test of an unspecified “newly developed ultra-modern tactical weapon”.

After the failed nuclear disarmament talks between Kim and US President Donald Trump in February, the two sides have had little reported contact. There have been worries among observers that the North would turn to weapons testing – which it has largely halted since a series of tests in 2017 had many fearing war – and other actions seen as provocative by outsiders as a way to force Washington to drop its current hard-line negotiating stance and grant the North’s demand for a removal of crushing international sanctions.