Asia-Pacific

North Korea's latest test was 'new weapon' says state media

The launch came just four days after North Korea fired two projectiles believed to be the newly developed short-range ballistic missiles. Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

North Korea's official news agency says a launch of what's believed to be short-range ballistic missiles was a newly developed weapon of "tactical character".

North Korea's latest test was of a newly developed weapon of "tactical character," North Korean official KCNA news agency says.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "guided the test-fire" of a new weapon "developed to suit the terrain condition" of the country, KCNA reported on Sunday.

Saturday's projectiles, believed to be short-range ballistic missiles, were launched from a site on the North's east coast and flew around 400 kilometres before landing in the sea to the east, the South Korean military said.

It was Pyongyang's fifth such launch within weeks.

KCNA reported Kim as saying that the new weapon "has advantageous tactical character different to the existing weapon systems".

The South Korean presidency said it interpreted the launches as a "demonstration of power" by the North, timed to coincide with annual joint exercises currently taking place between the South Korean and US militaries.

Seoul said it expects further missile firings in the coming weeks.

US President Donald Trump, who received a letter from Kim about Pyongyang's recent launches, said on Twitter that the missile testing would stop when joint US-South Korea military exercises end.

UN resolutions prohibit Pyongyang from launching ballistic missiles, whether short, medium or long range.

Pyongyang and Washington are currently trying to relaunch stalled talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes and economic sanctions.

Mr Trump and Kim met in June in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas and agreed to restart talks.

That meeting came after a second summit between the leaders in Hanoi in February failed to yield a deal on North Korea's nuclear disarmament and the reduction of sanctions.

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