North Korea test-fires new ′guided weapon′ | News | DW | 17.04.2019
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North Korea test-fires new 'guided weapon'

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."

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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)

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