North Korean leader supervises test of 'newly developed' weapon

North Korean media says leader Kim Jong Un supervised test-firing of "super-large multiple rocket launcher".

Elad Benari ,

Kim Jong Un guides the test firing of a new weapon
Kim Jong Un guides the test firing of a new weapon

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test-firing of another "newly developed" weapon, state media reported Sunday, according to AFP.

South Korea's military had said the North launched what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday, but the North's state media said a "super-large multiple rocket launcher" had been tested.

It was the latest in a series of launches that North Korea has conducted in recent weeks in protest at US-South Korean joint military exercises, which wrapped up nearly a week ago.

Kim said the "newly developed" system was a "great weapon," and expressed "high appreciation" for the scientists who had designed and built it, the country's official Korean Central News Agency said.

"The test-fire proved that all the tactical and technological specifications of the system correctly reached the preset indexes," the report added.

Kim also said the country needed to keep stepping up weapons development "for resolutely frustrating the ever-mounting military threats and pressure offensive of the hostile forces," noted KCNA.

The tests come as talks between the US and North Korea on denuclearization continue to stall, having broken down after the failed summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in February in Vietnam.

Nevertheless, Trump recently said that North Korea’s missile tests may have violated United Nations resolutions but did not break his agreement with Kim.

Last week, Stephen Biegun, the US special envoy for North Korea, said during a visit to Seoul that Washington was "prepared to engage" as soon as it hears from Pyongyang.

On Friday, however, North Korea lashed out at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling him a "diehard toxin" and saying it was "skeptical" whether it can negotiate with him.

"We are ready for both dialogue and stand-off," North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said in a statement.