Monday, September 26, 2022

N Korea confirms latest weapons test as Kim visits major munitions factory

Seoul, Jan 28 (Reuters) – North Korea this week tested a warhead of an advanced long-range cruise missile and a tactical guided missile, as leader Kim Jong Un described a “major weapons system,” state media producing Visited a factory. KCNA said on Friday.

Tensions have risen over a series of six weapons tests carried out by North Korea in 2022, one of the most missile launches in a month. The launches have sparked international condemnation and a new sanctions push from the United States.

KCNA said an update to the long-range cruise missile system was tested on Tuesday and another test was conducted on Thursday to confirm the power of a conventional warhead for the surface-to-surface tactical guided missile.

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A separate dispatch said that Kim did not attend the tests, but during a tour of the warships’ factory, he called a meeting last month to implement the ruling Workers’ Party’s decisions on “a leap of progress in the production of large arms”. is appreciated.

“The factory has a very important place and duty in modernizing the country’s armed forces and realizing the national defense development strategy,” Kim said.

KCNA did not specify the weapons or the location of the factory. Kim called at that party gathering to strengthen national security to deal with the volatile international situation. read more

Last week, North Korea said it would strengthen its defense against the United States and consider resuming “all temporarily suspended activities”, self-imposed over testing of nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). -Indicates the removal of the declared adjournment.

At the factory, Kim called for “an all-out campaign” to produce “powerful state-of-the-art weapons”, and its workers denounced the challenges of American imperialists and their vassal forces to “break…” Told devotion. His right to self-defense, calling it “the harshest adversary ever.”

Pyongyang has defended missile launches as its sovereign right of self-defense and accused Washington and Seoul of double standards on weapons testing.

North Korea has not tested any ICBMs or nuclear weapons since 2017, but launched short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) in 2019 amid stalled denuclearization talks after a failed summit with the United States. Started.

US Defense Department press secretary John Kirby described the latest launches as “unsettling” and called on Pyongyang to “stop these provocations”.

The European Union also issued a statement saying the tests posed a threat to international and regional peace and security and undermined efforts to restart dialogue and help the country’s people.

Missile Factory?

Photos released by KCNA showed a slim-looking Kim smiling during a visit to the factory, wearing a black leather coat and suit, with some of the officers’ faces blurry.

Jeffrey Lewis, a missile specialist at the US-based James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said on February 11 that the factory is located at the Ryeongsong Machine Complex in Hamhung, the country’s second largest city on the east coast, citing similar double columns. Giving. Vertical lathe seen in previous KCNA images, though repainted.

It looked like the facility had been remodeled, but a giant metal tube inside the flow-generating machine in a new hall where Kim was seen as a motor casing for a KN-23 or other SRBM, Lewis said. Said on Twitter.

In Tuesday’s test, two long-range cruise missiles covered a range of 1,800 km (1,118 mi) for 9,137 seconds and struck a target island off the east coast, showing practical combat performance, KCNA said.

The two tactical guided missiles tested on Thursday also hit the target accurately and proved the explosive power of their warheads, as designed.

KCNA photos also show a long-range missile, launched from a transporter-erector-launcher, engulfed in flames, before opening fire on an island. In other images, a short-range missile was seen rising into the sky above a cloud of dust and then hitting an island.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it had detected both tests, and that the short-range missiles traveled approximately 190 km (118 mi) to an altitude of 20 km (12.4 mi). read more

This month alone, North Korea has tested strategic guided missiles, two “hypersonic missiles” capable of high speed and maneuverability after lift-off, and a railway-borne missile system.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said Pyongyang could increase the pressure and possibly fire an ICBM or other powerful weapon when it coincides with the 80th and 110th anniversary of Kim’s late father’s birthday. marks. Dada in February and April, both major holidays in the country.

“The ongoing series of tests should be aimed at uncovering the increasingly diverse missile arsenal of the North and essentially a show of force against the United States,” he said.

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Reporting by Hyonhei Shin; Editing by Sandra Maler and Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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