North Korea on Thursday said it has test-fired a new “tactical guided weapon” with a “powerful warhead”. This is the first such test since talks between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without agreement.
The test was overseen by Jong-un himself, reported the Korean Central News Agency. The North Korean leader said the test was “of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People’s Army”. However, it is not clear what type of weapon was involved in the test. But there was no evidence that the test involved a nuclear detonation or an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Experts said the description of a tactical weapon suggested a short-range missile rather a longer-range ballistic missile, reported The Washington Post. This means the move would not violate North Korea’s self-declared moratorium on testing.
US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s had last met at Hanoi in February. But discussions broke down and both leaders left abruptly.
The two leaders had met for the first time on June 12 in Singapore for a historic summit, following which Kim had committed to the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula.
In December 2018, North Korea warned the US that new sanctions imposed by Washington could derail its plans to dismantle its nuclear programme. The month before, Pyongyang conducted a tactical weapons test and threatened to resume its nuclear programme if the US did not lift sanctions on the country. Later that month, Washington abruptly postponed high-level talks with Pyongyang.