On Wednesday, North Korea has announced that it has test-fired a new tactical guided weapon that will increase the “combat power” of the nation’s military system.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency informed that North Korean President Kim Jong Un, oversaw the weapon firing by the Academy of Defense Science.
However, it was not cleared immediately that what sort of weapon was test-fired, but it marks the first weapons test since the United States President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean counterpart in Hanoi in February and a sign of public defiance by President Kim. It also followed a stalemate in the high-stakes denuclearization talks.
President Kim claims 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.”
Analysts informed that the description of a tactical weapon has appeared to rule out a long-range weapon.
A North Korean expert at Georgetown University, Victor Cha said, “Not a ballistic missile. Looks like they are working on anti-aircraft capabilities with the last test and this one,” adding that “it shows that North Korea is going on, business as usual, after the failed Hanoi summit. They are giving the U.S. till the end of this year to make a deal, but in the meantime, they will bolster their capabilities, untethered from any agreement.”
Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation has noted that North Korea has released the same statement in November 2018 but that experts don’t know yet what tactical system was tested.
He continued, “However, the U.S. did not detect a missile launch either time so it must be a short-range system, perhaps an artillery system such as a multiple rocket launcher or an anti-tank guided missile,” adding that “Pundits and policymakers should refrain from assuming this is a signal of Pyongyang deliberately ratcheting up of tensions or closing the door on negotiations.”