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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees ‘tactical capability’ test

According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the testing of a new type of tactical guided missile that will improve the country’s ‘efficiency in the operation of tactical nukes.’ The test occurred after months of record-breaking launches, signalling the end of a self-imposed moratorium on long-range and nuclear testing.

According to US exports and the country’s neighbour South Korea, this indicates that North Korea may begin nuclear testing shortly. According to the KCNA, Kim offered key orders on further ‘building up the country’s defence capabilities and nuclear battle forces’ after authorising the test. The South Korean military stated on Sunday that it had detected two missiles launched from the North’s east coast into the sea late Saturday. The projectiles travelled approximately 110 kilometres (68 miles) with an apogee of 25 kilometres and a maximum speed of less than Mach 4.

‘The new-type tactical guided weapon system… is of enormous significance in substantially expanding the firepower of frontline long-range artillery units and enhancing the effectiveness in the operation of tactical nukes,’ according to the KCNA report. However, no information regarding the site of the test or the missiles involved is known. According to Reuters, Ankit Panda, a senior scholar at the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes it was most likely a short-range ballistic missile and perhaps the nation’s first tactical nuclear bomb delivery system.

Following Biden’s victory, North Korea undertook a series of 13 missile tests, culminating last month with the launch of a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to the US’s eastern flank. The tests coincide with the 110th anniversary of the nation’s founder, Kim Il Sung, who is also the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.




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