US: North Korean test was not of a ballistic missile

Acting US Defense Secretary says weapons test announced by North Korea was not of a ballistic missile.

Elad Benari,

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
Reuters

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Thursday that a weapons test announced by North Korea was not of a ballistic missile.

"There was a test," Shanahan told reporters as he met his Albanian counterpart at the Pentagon, according to AFP.

He declined to elaborate on the findings of US intelligence but said, "It's not a ballistic missile."

"Also there's no change to our posture or to our operations," he added.

On Wednesday, North Korean state media reported that the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, had supervised the test-firing of a new tactical weapon with a "powerful warhead," hailing what it called a contribution of "very weighty significance" to its arsenal.

Analysts have speculated that the test could have involved anything from a small anti-tank missile to relatively routine artillery, with a South Korean official also saying that the country saw no sign of a ballistic missile, according to AFP.

The test was the first public weapons test since the second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi ended with no agreement in February.

US President Donald Trump abruptly ended the summit with Kim in the capital of Vietnam, explaining that, while "we had a productive time," no deal was signed.

He said at the time that Kim had asked for total removal of sanctions before denuclearization, something to which the US could not agree.

“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn’t do that ... we had to walk away from it."

US-North Korean engagement has appeared to be in limbo since that summit. A senior official in Washington said last month that the US still believes the "fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea is possible by the end of Trump's first term.

Despite the breakdown of the summit, North Korean media later indicated that Kim and Trump had decided to continue productive talks to resolve problems discussed at their Hanoi summit.

On Saturday, Trump said his relations with Kim remain “very good” and opened the door for a third summit.

Those comments came after Kim said his country needs to deliver a “serious blow” to those imposing sanctions by ensuring its economy is more self-reliant.




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