See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

N. Korea says it tested multiple rocket launchers

State Media showed Kim Jong-un watching over the tests.


Written by

Updated: May 6, 2019

North Korea has conducted a “strike drill” for multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons to test their performance, state media reported Sunday, a day after the communist nation fired unidentified short-range projectiles into the East Sea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervised the “strike drill of defense units in the forefront area and on the eastern front which took place in the East Sea of Korea on Saturday,” according to the Korean Central News Agency.

“The purpose of the drill was to estimate and inspect the operating ability and the accuracy of striking duty performance of large-caliber long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons by defense units in the frontline area and on the eastern front,” the KCNA said.

“And the combat performance of arms and equipment and to more powerfully arouse the entire army to the movement for becoming crackshots with the drill as an occasion and thus put it at combat readiness posture all the time,” it added.

Kim urged his troops to bear in mind “the iron truth that genuine peace and security are ensured and guaranteed only by powerful strength,” the KCNA said.

On Saturday, North Korea fired multiple projectiles from its east coast town of Wonsan into the East Sea. They flew about 70 kilometers to 200 kilometers, Seoul’s military said.

Experts said a weapon of similar appearance to Russia’s tactical ballistic missile, the Iskander, was seen in photos released by the KCNA.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff had earlier said the North fired multiple short-range “missiles” but later revised the announcement, saying only “projectiles” were fired.

Iskander missiles can be fired a distance ranging from 60 km to 500 km and are difficult to intercept, according to military experts.

If what North Korea referred to as the launch of “tactical guided weapons” was indeed the test of the North’s version of the Iskander, it could be in violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution that bans the communist nation from all kinds of ballistic missile launches.

The photos released by the North’s media also showed weapons that seemed like 240-mm and 300-mm multiple rocket launchers.

Experts say the firing appeared to be a carefully calibrated move by Pyongyang to pressure Washington into showing more flexibility in their nuclear negotiations without going as far as to derail the talks.

Nuclear negotiations have been stalemated after the second summit between Kim and Trump in late February ended without an agreement due to differences over Pyongyang’s denuclearization steps and Washington’s sanctions relief.

In a tweet hours after the projectile firing, US President Donald Trump voiced his confidence that the North Korean leader will keep its promise on denuclearization.

“Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it,” Trump tweeted. “He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!”

Since the breakdown of the summit in February, Pyongyang has intensified calls on Washington to ditch its hard-line stance on denuclearization talks.

Last month, Kim said in a key policy speech that he is willing to hold another summit with Trump if the US comes up with a new proposal acceptable to him before the end of the year.

Recently, North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui warned of an “undesired consequence,” accusing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for saying that Washington could change course in the event that nuclear negotiations collapse.

North Korea has not test-fired a ballistic missile since November 2017, a lull that Trump has hailed as one of his major achievements in denuclearization talks with Pyongyang.

Last month, North Korea test-fired what it called “the new tactical guided weapon,” which, according to Seoul authorities, appeared to be a guided weapon for ground combat.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: ANN’s Board member Mr Zaffar Abbas, Editor of Pakistan’s Dawn has won the 2019 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protest Journalists.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

North Korea beefs up self-defense capabilities in military reorganization

The North have been making many changes ahead of talks. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the top military decision-making body to accelerate the development of self-defense capabilities ahead of key events that will decide its national strategy, its state media reported Sunday. Discussions on ways to bolster its military capabilities through organizational restructuring and personnel reshuffle were highlighted during the third expanded meeting of the seventh central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party. Details on what measures were discussed were not disclosed. “At the meeting, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un


By Zaffar Abbas
December 23, 2019

Diplomacy

China-US trade deal bullish news for both countries, rest of world

From Chinese state media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the China-US deal on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement serves as bullish news for both countries and the rest of the world. Speaking at a joint press conference with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Wang said China has, as always, been opposed to settling economic and trade disputes by imposing tariffs as there is no winner in a trade war. China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang. He pointed out that following rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, China and the United States have agreed on the wording of a phase-one economic and trade agreement, and the US side has promised to phase out additional tariffs on Chinese products. The agreement demonstrates the spirit


By Esther Ng
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Biegun arrives in Seoul amid deadlock in NK-US nuclear talks

Pyongyang says it conducted “another crucial test” at Sohae site. US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a “close coordination” with allies amid the deadlock in the denuclearization talks with Pyongyang just weeks before the communist regime’s year-end deadline. A day before, North Korea issued statements to announce that it had carried out “another crucial test” at a satellite launching site, warning the United States to “hold off” any action to “rattle” the regime. During his three-day trip here, the US special envoy is expected to meet with officials here to discuss on the


By Zaffar Abbas
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Myanmar to be sincere in implementing Rohingya repatriation deal

This according to the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. Bangladesh expects that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing trial at the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today. “My expectation is that Myanmar would be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal that signed with Bangladesh on repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” he told journalists at his ministry office in Dhaka. “Myanmar has invited me before a case lodged with the International Court of Justice. In response, I told that I would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar,” the foreign minister said. “I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” Momen said. Globally it has been established that there was a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas, that was des


By Daily Star
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

10 US senators criticise Suu Kyi for representing military’s interest

Suu Kyi is in the Hague defending Myanmar from genocide accusations. Ten US Senators have severely criticized Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for representing the military’s interest before the International Court of Justice and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities. “Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress,” said a letter to Suu Kyi issued on December 9. The Senators said a defense of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural and democratic Burma that she claims to champion. They said when Buddhist nationalism is on the rise in


By Daily Star
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

India under Modi is moving systematically with a supremacist agenda, says PM Imran

Imran Khan made the comments after India passed a controversial citizenship requirement. Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been moving systematically with a Hindu supremacist agenda. The prime minister was referencing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by India’s upper house amid protests on Wednesday. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. Modi’s government — re-elected in May and under pressure over a slowing economy — says Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the legislation because they do not face discrimination in those countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister I


By Asia News Network
December 13, 2019