Experts say yesterday’s advanced missile launch shows North Korea and Kim Jong-un are developing steadily more sophisticated weapons – which could potentially be used for nuclear applications
Image: via REUTERS)
North Korea fired a newly developed anti-aircraft missile in a month-long spate of weapons tests, local media reported.
The launch, reported by state broadcaster KCNA, comes amid stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.
It was the isolated country’s second reported launch this week after a previously unseen hypersonic missile was launched on Tuesday.
Ballistic and cruise missiles with potential nuclear applications have also been detonated in recent weeks.
The tests underline North Korea’s steady development of increasingly sophisticated weapons – which increases the pressure to succeed in the disarmament talks with the United States.
Washington is currently offering sanctions relief in return for the “rapid denuclearization” of the country.
Korea Summit Press Pool / AFP via)
The test was aimed at confirming the practical application of the rocket launcher, radar, comprehensive combat command vehicle, and combat performance, according to the Academy of Defense Science, a military weapons developer.
The rocket has new key technologies such as double rudder control and double impulse aircraft engine, according to the state broadcaster KCNA.
The South Korean military said detailed analysis was needed to review the KCNA report.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not appear to have participated in the test, which was instead led by Pak Jong-chon, a member of the powerful Politburo and Central Committee of the ruling Labor Party.
“The remarkable combat performance of the new anti-aircraft missile with the characteristics of the rapid reactivity and steering accuracy of the missile control system as well as the significant increase in the range of shot air targets was confirmed,” said KCNA, citing the academy.
North Korea has declared in recent weeks that its weapons tests, like other countries, are aimed at strengthening its defense capabilities, accusing the United States and South Korea of ”double standards” and “hostile policies” towards it.
On Wednesday, Kim said he had no reasons to attack South Korea and was ready to reopen segregated inter-Korean hotlines.
However, she criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for using “smarter ways and methods” in pursuing hostile policies while proposing dialogue.
The South Korean Unification Ministry, which is responsible for North Korean affairs, said the north had not come forward on Friday but promised to continue efforts to restore channels and resume talks.
President Moon Jae-in made no reference to North Korea in a 73rd Armed Forces Day speech on Friday, but said he was determined to promote lasting peace while responding harshly to life-threatening measures.
Analysts say the North’s carrot-and-whip approach aims to secure international recognition as a nuclear weapon state and drive a wedge between the United States and South Korea, facing Moon’s desire for a diplomatic legacy before his term in office May ends.
The Biden government has stated that it has no hostile intentions towards North Korea and has urged them to accept their offers of talks in order to break the impasse in the denuclearization negotiations.