1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
Image: Reuters/KCNA

North Korea tests new 'guided weapon'

April 18, 2019

Pyongyang tested an unspecified "guided weapon" with a "powerful warhead," North Korea's official news agency KCNA has reported. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un oversaw the operation.


The North Korean military has developed and tested a new weapon system, the state news agency KCNA reported on Thursday. The outlet described the project as a "tactical guided weapon" carrying a "powerful warhead," but stopped short of calling it a missile.

The nation's leader Kim Jong Un was reportedly present at the test. He said the successful development of the project was "an event of very weighty significance" in boosting North Korea's combat capacities.

Kim "guided the test-fire" which was "conducted in various modes of firing at different targets," the KCNA agency said.

The North Korean leader had also visited the Air and Anti-aircraft force on Thursday for a fight drill, expressing "great satisfaction" with their performance.

Read more: Kim Jong Un says nuclear program completed, US will never attack

White House stays silent

The operation on Thursday marked the first publicized weapons' test since the Hanoi talks between Kim and US President Donald Trump fell through in February. Previously, Kim oversaw a test of a "tactical weapon" in November, which could allegedly protect North Korea as a "steel wall."

Does Trump's North Korea strategy work?

The use of the word "tactical" to describe the combat systems could indicate they are short range, and not previously tested missiles which could potentially carry nuclear warheads to US territory.

The White House said it was aware of the report and had no immediate comment.

Read more: Trump drops North Korea sanctions because he 'likes' Kim

After several nuclear tests, Kim pledged in April last year that his country would pause both nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. However, satellite images of North Korea's main nuclear test site taken last week show movement which could be associated with reprocessing radioactive materials into bomb fuel, according to the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

dj/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP)

Every day, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. Sign up for the newsletter here.

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Ukraine Bachmut | Soldat der Wagner Gruppe

Ukraine updates: Bakhmut battle 'badly damaged' Wagner group

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage