North Korea has tested a new weapons system that will increase the effectiveness of its tactical nuclear weapons, state media said on Sunday (April 17).
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looked on as he tested the new tactically guided weapon that will increase the firepower of long-range artillery and improve “the effectiveness of the DPRK’s tactical nuclear weapons operation (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and the diversification of its firepower missions”, said the KCNA news agency without specifying the exact date of this test shot; He added that the test was successful.
Kim Jong-un gave the military investigation team “important instructions on the further development of defense capabilities of nuclear combat forces”, added the KCNA agency. Photos published by the newspaper. Rodong Sinmun it showed a smiling leader, surrounded by uniformed officers, cheering as he watched what was described as the weapon’s test firing.
On Friday, North Korea celebrated the birthday of North Korea’s founder, Kim Jong-un’s grandfather Kim Il-sung, with a grand public procession, fireworks and synchronized dancing, but not a military parade as many observers had believed. forecast. South Korean and US analysts and officials had also believed a nuclear test on this important anniversary was possible.
The anniversary celebrations came three weeks after North Korea conducted its largest intercontinental ballistic missile test, the first time the country’s most powerful weapon has been fired at full speed since 2017.
Towards a seventh try?
This test marked the end of a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range tests. They had been suspended after Kim Jong-un met with then-US President Donald Trump. Officials and analysts say North Korea could conduct its seventh nuclear test in the coming weeks.
Satellite images showed signs of new activity in a tunnel at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which Pyongyang says was demolished in 2018 ahead of the first Trump-Kim summit. North Korea has tested nuclear weapons six times since 2006 and touted the success of its latest and most powerful in 2017: a hydrogen bomb with an estimated yield of 250 kilotons.
With a new test, experts believe the country will seek to miniaturize nuclear warheads for mounting on its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
South Korean officials said Pyongyang could still hold a military parade or hold a trial around April 25, the anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army. This anniversary coincides with the joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington, which will begin on Monday. South Korea and the United States regularly host exercises, but Pyongyang has regularly protested against these exercises by denouncing preparations for war.