North Korea Conducts 'Tactical Guided Weapon' Test

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Kim called the development of the weapon "an event of very weighty significance", according to the Korean Central News Agency. "We will continue to enforce all sanctions against North Korea and encourage every country to do so". It gave no further details.

Wednesday's test was the first time Kim had publicly supervised an arms trial since November 2018, when state media reported that he attended evaluations of another tactical weapon (presumed to be an artillery system), for which no further details were provided. Another possible clue: one of the lower level officials mentioned in the North's report on the test - Pak Jong Chon - is known as an artillery official.

The announcement coincided with a moment of discord in efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to reach a deal with Kim to end nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula.

This is the second time that North Korea has played coy about new weapons in recent months.

Mr. Putin is to visit China later this month, and some media speculated that he could meet with Mr. Kim in Vladivostok, the far eastern port city near the border with North Korea.

"I am convinced we will have a real opportunity to achieve that outcome", Pompeo said at a joint news conference after talks with Japan's foreign and defence ministers.

The latest launch comes after he visited the North Korean air force on Tuesday, inspecting a military drill and expressing "great satisfaction" at their combat readiness.

Since then, North Korea has said it is mulling options for its diplomacy with the U.S., and Kim said last week he was open to talks with Trump only if Washington came with the "proper attitude".

North Korea has built a cult of personality around Kim, claiming outrageous things about its ruler that can not be questioned by those in the country.

But it claimed the weapon has a "peculiar mode of guiding flight" as well as "a powerful warhead".

North Korea says it's test-fired a new type of tactical guided weapon
North Korea's Kwon blasted the top U.S. diplomat for making "reckless remarks" and "fabricating stories like a fiction writer". A White House official said: "We are aware of the report and have no further comment".

"Through their tactical guided weapons test, they want to let the global community know, they are capable of finding a new path if the negotiations continue like the way it is now", Shin said.

North Korea has said it wants guarantees of its security from Washington before committing to fully dismantling its nuclear program.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has sharpened his rhetoric since the summit between his country and the U.S., urging top ruling party members last week to deal a "severe blow to hostile foreign forces" by resisting sanctions.

Several military analysts in South Korea said it could be a variation of a short-range ballistic missile launcher imported from Russian Federation called the 9K720 Iskander, which North Korea displayed at a military parade in Pyongyang last February. The U.S. State Department has said Washington had nothing to do with it.

"Even if this is not a "missile" test the way we strictly define it, these people and MID are all sanctioned entities for a reason", Hanham said. Last week, Trump also suggested the possibility of a third summit taking place, though he did not mention a date.

No missile launch was detected by US Northern Command and Strategic Command, according to US Department of Defense officials.

South Korea's presidential office took a cautious approach, declining to issue an official comment on the test.

A government official said the US shared the assessment with the South Korean military. That rules out tests that go high into the atmosphere, such as a ballistic missile, but does not rule out tests at lower altitudes.

Meanwhile, two senior USA officials - presidential advisor Fiona Hill and special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun - were in Moscow this week for talks with Russian officials. If it were, such a test would jeopardize discussions between North Korea and the USA, according to the AP. But there are growing worries that the progress could be killed by mismatched demands between Washington and Pyongyang over sanctions relief and disarmament. North Korea has also emphasized that they like to deal with Trump directly.

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