Pyongyang says it tested new multiple rocket launcher system

Seoul/Pyongyang, August 3

North Korea said on Saturday that it had tested its new rocket system again in launches conducted the previous day under leader Kim Jong-un’s supervision, the state media reported.

The firing of the “newly-developed large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system early on Friday morning” was aimed to examine its capabilities, such as flight performance, track control ability and rate of hits, Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report.

Kim “expressed great satisfaction over the result of the test-fire”, Yonhap News Agency quoted the KCNA report as saying.

The report came a day after North Korea fired two projectiles from Yonghung, South Hamgyong province, into the East Sea, which Seoul said appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles.

It was the third such launch in just over a week.

The projectiles flew about 220 km at an approximate altitude of 25 km, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The series of launches came ahead of a possible resumption of the denuclearisation talks between Washington and Pyongyang following US President Donald Trump and Kim’s surprise meeting at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom on June 30, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The US, meanwhile, has remained upbeat about the prospects for talks with the North, with Trump saying on Friday that firings did not violate his agreement with Kim.

“Kim Jong-un and North Korea tested three short range missiles over the last number of days,” the President tweeted.

“These missiles tests are not a violation of our signed Singapore agreement, nor was there discussion of short range missiles when we shook hands.”

A senior US State Department official said on Friday that Washington and Pyongyang were in regular contact for resumption of their talks, adding that both expected the negotiations to start again soon. IANS