Saturday, 17 August, 2019

U.S. says tested DPRK weapon system not ballistic missile

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan speaks with reporters before an arrival ceremony for Japan's Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya at the Pentagon on Friday North brags of 'significant' weapon test-INSIDE
Patty Aguilar | 21 April, 2019, 05:46

A weapon tested by North Korea is thought to have been a guided weapon for ground combat and not a ballistic missile, South Korea's military said, indicating it was a conventional weapon and not one subject to global sanctions.

"If the USA does not keep the promises it made in front of the world, misjudges the patience of our people, forces a unilateral demand on us, and firmly continues with sanctions and pressures on our republic, we might be compelled to explore new ways to protect our autonomy and interests", Kim explained.

The Pentagon said the test did not involve a ballistic missile and posed no threat to the United States or its allies in the Pacific.

Shanahan roughly echoed what North Korea's state media had already said, that there was "a test" and providing no details, beyond it not changing the official U.S. posture on the matter.

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He did not directly answer a question on whether the weapon was a new capability.

North Korea also made a similar announcement about a tactical weapon test in November, though again provided no imagery or additional information concerning the new weapon system, leading some experts to believe that North Korea is signaling displeasure with the pace of the diplomatic process.

North Korea has said it test-fired a new type of tactical guided weapon. "I am afraid that, if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled", he said. He added that there has been "no change to our posture or to our operations". North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un Ready for Third US-North Korea Summit. As such, the test did not appear to violate North Korea's self-imposed moratorium on missile and nuclear tests. Nonetheless, that test was the first clear sign that North Korea is willing to restart weapons testing if necessary. Shanahan said on Thursday that he did not want to "rush" to judgment on the message being sent by North Korea ahead of fully analysing intelligence.

Satellites and aircraft operating nearby did not detect any evidence that the North launched a short-range tactical weapon or a ballistic missile. Trump responded by touting his "excellent" personal relationship with Kim.

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