- North Korea’s regime leader Kim Jong-un has approved its newly tested medium-range missile for ‘mass production.’
- He has called it a ‘successful strategic weapon’.
- Missile seems to be the same as the one North Korea launched on February 12.
- It has been developed with the technology applied in submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
- South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s top security advisor favors resuming talks with North Korea.
The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, has “approved” the “mass production” and combat deployment of the new intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) which has just been tested by his regime, North Korean state media announced.
On Sunday, North Korea carried out a fresh and successful ballistic missile test, its second in a week. Its last week’s test-firing led South Korea to admit that the missile program of Kim Jong-un’s regime is advancing faster than thought, and a war might be in the making.
North Korea’s regime has claimed that its new rocket could deliver a “large heavy nuclear warhead” all the way to the US mainland.
In previous missile launches in April, North Korea’s regime suffered two failures in a row.
North Korea has now carried out three failed and six successful rocket launches since the start of the Trump Administration.
Ongoing activity and a large number of people have been spotted at North Korea’s nuclear test site, the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility, amid lingering concerns that the regime of leader Kim Jong-un could carry out its sixth nuclear test.
The two latest missile firing by Kim Jong-un’s regime come shortly after the election of South Korea’s new President, liberal Moon Jae-in, who favors engagement with North Korea rather than a harsher stance.
There have been reports that North Korea has been bracing for a preemptive US missile strike similar to the missile strike on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to the April 4 attack with chemical weapons which reportedly killed dozens of civilians, including many children, in Khan Sheikhun, Idlib province, in Northwest Syria.
‘To Be Rapidly Mass Produced’
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has approved the deployment of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile for combat use as the country succeeded in test-firing it, Pyongyang’s state media said on Monday, as cited by South Korean news agency Yonhap.
According North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea’s leader observed the launch of the new ground-to-ground Pukguksong-2 missile, “expressing satisfaction” with its accuracy in hitting targets.
North Korea fired the missile from the vicinity of Pukchang in the country’s western province Sunday, the South Korean military said. A week earlier, it had tested another new mid-to-long-range ballistic missile on May 14, called the Hwasong-12.
The North’s leader approved the deployment of the Pukguksong-2 for action, calling it a “successful strategic weapon,” the KCNA said.
“This type of missile should be rapidly mass-produced in a serial way” to arm the strategic force of the Korean People’s Army, Kim was quoted as saying by the report.
He set forth the strategic tasks for bolstering the country’s nuclear force, it added.
According to South Korea’s military, the latest missile fired by North Korea appears to be the same type that was launched on February 12, and it is known to have been developed with the technology applied in submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
The latest test marked North Korea’s second missile launch since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office May 10.
The provocations came despite US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s latest assurance that the US has no intention to seek a regime change in North Korea.
Shrugging off what appears to be Washington’s conciliatory gesture, North Korea said Saturday that it will develop and produce more powerful weapons.
North Korea has claimed that its development of nuclear weapons is a deterrent against what it calls Washington’s hostile policy toward it. It is known to be after the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can carry a nuclear warhead and strike the US mainland.
Kim Jong-un said in January that his country has entered the final stage of preparing to launch an ICBM.
Meanwhile, on Monday South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s top security advisor spoke in favor of resuming talks with North Korea, though he said the dialogue must not get in the way of ongoing international sanctions against the communist state.
“We will have to try and gradually resume dialogue, starting with working-level talks,” Chung Eui-yong, the head of the National Security Office, told reporters, as cited by Yonhap.
“I believe we must review the possibility as I believe we could resume exchanges in various areas, such as personnel, social, cultural and sports, as long as they do not undermine the international framework of sanctions against North Korea,” he added.
Chung’s remarks came after his visits with political parties earlier on Monday, a day after his appointment.
Chung reaffirmed Seoul will not reward the North for its provocations, but again stressed the need for dialogue.
“We will sternly deal with any provocation. It is also important to enhance our defense capability to deter and prevent North Korea’s additional provocations,” he said.
Still, he insisted “we must restore dialogue (with North Korea) at an early date for a fundamental reduction of tension.”