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Kim Jong-un tests new 'ultra-modern tactical weapon'

16 November, 2018, 15:48 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • REPORT: President Trump Planning Second Meeting With North Korea's Kim Jong Un

This marked the first field inspection by the North Korean leader of a weapons test since November a year ago, when he viewed the testing of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea's official KCNA news agency identified the American as Bruce Byron Lowrance and said that he had told his captors that he was controlled by the CIA.

"While being questioned, he said he had illegally entered the country under the command of the US Central Intelligence Agency", KCNA said.

"Hopefully, with this meeting [with Kim], North Korea's commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula will grow stronger".

"Generally, tests of new high-tech weapons are conducted in secret", Shin said."But North Korea announced it publicly to show its frustration".

In 2017, the North released a United States student who had been arrested a year earlier for stealing a propaganda sign.

"Relevant authorities have made a decision to expel him from the country", it added.

Three US detainees were released in May in an apparent goodwill gesture before a summit between the North's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore. Weeks after the summit, North Korea returned the remains of dozens of presumed US soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.

It's the first publicly known field inspection of a weapons test by Kim Jong Un since he observed the testing of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in November of previous year, according to South Korea's Unification Ministry.

Global weapons experts said the officials around Kim included a leader of the artillery corps of the Korean People's Army.

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The three Americans returned home on a flight with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The test may also have been a response to recent joint military drills by the United States and South Korea, which Pyongyang said violated recent pacts to halt to "all hostile acts", said Yang Uk, an analyst at the Korea Defence and Security Forum.

North Korea has continued to showcase its conventional military capabilities, including at a large military parade in Pyongyang, its capital, on 9 September.

But Friday's report from the North was noticeably less belligerent than past announcements of weapons tests, and didn't focus on North Korean claims of US and South Korean hostility.

Yesterday on a visit to an Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore, Mr Pence said that the second meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim would take place in the first half of next year.

In the ASEAN chairman's statement issued after the summit on Monday, ASEAN leaders praised North Korea's commitment "to complete denuclearization and its pledge to refrain from further nuclear and missile tests". He was described as "so excited to say that another great work was done by the defense scientists and munitions industrial workers to increase the defense capability of the country".

Mr Pence stressed that United Nations sanctions had to remain enforced.

Friday's announcement was not framed in those terms, as some missile tests have been in the past, but Shin Beom-chul, research fellow at the Asian Institute of Policy Studies, said it still "reads as a strategic move with deliberate political intention".

The news, which came nearly a year after Pyongyang's last test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, recalled the repeated announcements of 2017.

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