Asia-Pacific

NKorea tests new multiple rocket launcher

People watch a TV news program reporting North Korea's firing of projectiles. Source: AP

North Korean state media confirms Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the test of a "super-large multiple rocket launcher."

 

North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Saturday, the South Korean military said, the latest in a series of launches in recent weeks amid stalled denuclearisation talks.

Photos released by North Korean state media showed rockets launching from large tubes mounted on the back of an eight-wheel vehicle, described as a "super-large multiple rocket launcher."

Analysts said it appeared to be at least the fourth new missile system unveiled by North Korea since denuclearisation talks stalled at a February summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

People watch a TV news program reporting about North Korea's firing of projectiles.
People watch a TV news program reporting about North Korea's firing of projectiles.
AP

North Korea must step up development of new strategic and tactical weapons to counter "ever-mounting military threats and pressure offensive of the hostile forces," Kim said on Saturday, according to KCNA.

North Korea's young defence scientists who developed the missiles are a "precious treasure and wealth of the country which cannot be bartered for anything," Kim said.

On Saturday, a KCNA commentary said North Korea "will never barter the strategic security of the country for the sanctions relief".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the South and North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the South and North Korea.
Getty

US officials have been trying to restart the stalled talks with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, which are heavily sanctioned.

After the latest tests, Trump again touted his good relationship with Kim and said the North Korean leader had been "pretty straight with me".

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