A report from BBC states that North Korea has test-fired a new tactical guided weapon along with a “powerful warhead.” According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim Jong-un was present on Wednesday during the test, saying that it was of “very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People’s Army,” adding that he was “moved in admiration” at the development.
“It seems our scientists, engineers and the labor class is truly great. If they are willing then no weapon is beyond creation.”
While few details have been given, observers agree that it is most likely a short-range weapon. Many analysts are saying that the test is unlikely any return to the long-range missile tests which were seen as a threat to the U.S. as a “tactical weapon” is generally used on the battlefield, according to CNN.
The last time North Korea tested a tactical weapon was in November 2018, which was seen as putting pressure on the U.S. at the time.
Analysts are saying that the test was conducted in various modes, which suggests that the weapon is capable of being fired from land, sea, or air.
Associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Vipin Narang said this is a different weapon than the one the regime had been testing over the past few years. He also said that “we don’t know” exactly what type of weapon it is, but it could be a reminder to both the U.S. and North Korea “where things could go, if the U.S. especially doesn’t moderate its negotiating position.”
In 2018, the North Korea leader said he would cease testing nuclear weapons. However, sources say that nuclear activity appears to be continuing, according to satellite images which detected movement at the country’s main nuclear site last week.
While these latest tests may be stirring things up in the White House, reports say that everything was “low-key by North Korean standards” and that it doesn’t threaten President Trump.
This is the first test to be conducted in North Korea since talks between President Trump and Kim, who met in February to discuss denuclearization. However, an agreement was not reached during the talk.
The talks broke down because Kim was asking for all sanctions to be lifted. However, this has since been disputed by Pyongyang. Kim has also expressed his close ties to the president and has urged Trump to pursue a deal that is “mutually beneficial.”