Sun, Apr 03, 2016 - Page 5 News List

N Korea tests new weapon: reports


A new type of anti-air weapon system is fired in an undated photograph released by the Korean Central News Agency yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has overseen the test of a new anti-aircraft weapon system, state media said yesterday, the latest in a series of missile trials as tensions run high on the divided Korean Peninsula.

In the past month the Kim has supervised several military drills, including the test-firings of medium ballistic missiles, a multiple rocket system and long-range artillery, in response to Seoul-Washington joint army drills south of the North Korean border.

The latest launch came as a two-day nuclear security summit was being hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington, at which North Korea was the focus of the US president’s talks with the leaders from China, South Korea and Japan.

Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) yesterday said Kim “guided the test of a new-type anti-air guided weapon system” to check its capability.

“Under his observation, AA rockets were fired to accurately hit mock enemy aerial targets,” it said.

The South Korean Ministry of National Defense said North Korea fired an anti-air missile at about 12:45pm on Friday from the eastern city of Sondok.

Kim “expressed great satisfaction over the successful test,” calling it another striking demonstration of the rapidly growing defense capability of the country, KCNA said.

Obama on Thursday spoke of the need to “vigilantly enforce the strong UN security measures” imposed on North Korea after its fourth nuclear test in January and a subsequent long-range rocket launch.

Pyongyang state media labeled the summit a “nonsensical” effort to find fault with the country’s “legitimate access to nuclear weapons.”

Existing UN sanctions ban North Korea from conducting any ballistic missile test, although short-range launches tend to go unpunished.

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