Kim Jong Un Watches ‘Tactical’ Guided Weapon Test - North Korean State Media

Clay Curtis
April 18, 2019

It was not immediately clear what type of weapon was sacked, 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.

Nevertheless, the weapon has a "peculiar mode of guiding flight" and "a powerful warhead", KCNA said.

Described as "tactical" rather than "strategic", the weapon is likely a short-range device, Reuters noted, for use on the battlefield rather than internationally.

This is a breaking news story and is constantly being updated.

Kim Jong Un has shown no signs he's willing to give away an arsenal he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival. While Washington insisted that North Korea should get rid of their missile and nuclear weapons programs, Kim allegedly made clear that Trump has to offer sanctions relief before the denuclearization process can proceed.

Experts said in November it was part of Kim's initiative to shift the mainstay of the North's conventional military power from a almost 1.3 million-strong army to high-tech weapons. Further checks were underway, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Seated on right are acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State mike Pompeo and interpreter.

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Spokesman Army Lieutenant Colonel Dave Eastburn said the Pentagon was also aware of the report.

The U.S. State Department declined to comment on intelligence matters, but a source familiar with U.S. government assessments said that while U.S. experts thought the movements could possibly be related to reprocessing, they were doubtful it was significant nuclear activity.

(AFP/Getty Images) North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un listens to President Donald Trump during a meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi, Feb. 27, 2019.

The test was conducted by North Korea's Academy of Defence Science.

A study by Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation released ahead of the Hanoi summit said North Korea had continued to produce bomb fuel in 2018 and may have produced enough in the past year to add as many as seven nuclear weapons to its arsenal.

"After watching the power of the new-type tactical guided weapon, [Kim] pointed out that our national defense scientists and workers in the field of the munitions industry performed another great work in increasing the country's defense capabilities", they said.

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