North Korea Test-Fires New Weapon, First Since Trump-Kim Vietnam Summit

State-run Korean Central News Agency said the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, oversaw the firing of the weapon by the Academy of Defense Science.

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WASHINGTON: 

North Korea announced that it test-fired a new tactical guided weapon on Wednesday that increased the "combat power" of the country's military.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency said the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, oversaw the firing of the weapon by the Academy of Defense Science.

It was not immediately clear what type of weapon was fired, but the move would mark the first weapons test since President Donald Trump's summit with Kim in Hanoi in February and a sign of public defiance by Kim following a stalemate in the high-stakes denuclearization talks.

Kim said the "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 said the description of a tactical weapon appeared to rule out a long-range weapon.

"Not a ballistic missile. Looks like they are working on antiaircraft capabilities with the last test and this one," said Victor Cha, a North Korea expert at Georgetown University. "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 noted that North Korea released a similar statement last November but that experts still don't know what tactical system was tested.

"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 antitank guided missile," he said. "Pundits and policymakers should refrain from assuming this is a signal of Pyongyang deliberately ratcheting up of tensions or closing the door on negotiations."



(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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