North Korea has tested a “new-type of tactical guided weapon,” its state news agency reported Thursday, in the country’s first known weapons test since February’s failed US-North Korea summit.
Leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test on Wednesday and said the development of the new weapon was “an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People’s Army,” the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
The report did not say where the test took place or exactly what kind of weapon was tested, but said it had a “peculiar mode of guiding flight” and carried “a powerful warhead.”
The word “tactical” implies, however, that the weapon was short-ranged and not a long-range ballistic missile such as has been used to threaten the US in the past.
The test appears to be the first since the Feburary summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Vietnam. The Hanoi summit ended abruptly as the sides were unable to agree on sanctions relief and the future of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.
In the summit’s aftermath there have been signs of renewed tensions, including sharp rhetoric coming from Pyongyang against US officials.
Kim, however, said last week that his personal relationship with Trump remained “excellent” and that he was open to a third summit and would “wait patiently” until the end of this year for Washington to make “courageous decisions” over negotiations.
Responding in a tweet on Saturday, Trump said his relationship with Kim “remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate,” and added that a third summit “would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand.”
Trump became the first sitting US president to meet a leader of North Korea when he sat down with Kim in June in Singapore.