Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has overseen the testing of a “newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon”, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Friday, in a move that will raise the temperature over denuclearisation talks.
It marked the first official report of a weapons test by North Korea since it began a delicate diplomatic process with Washington over its nuclear and missile programme. “Kim Jong Un… visited the test ground of the Academy of Defence Science and supervised a newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon test,” said the official Korean Central News Agency, adding the test was successful but did not specify the type of device involved.
Pyongyang’s suspension of testing for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles has been key to this year’s rapid diplomatic developments and North Korean-US negotiations, and has been repeatedly praised by US President Donald Trump.
Hours after the KCNA report, the US State Department said it was “confident” the process remained on track. “At the Singapore Summit, President Trump and Chairman Kim made a number of commitments regarding final, fully verified denuclearisation and creating a brighter future for N Korea,” a statement said.