Aug 1, 2019

North Korea says it tested new rocket launcher system

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with his army. Photo: STR/ KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images

North Korean state news agency KCNA says leader Kim Jong-un "expressed satisfaction" after overseeing the test-fire of a newly developed large-caliber multiple rocket launcher system.

The big picture: KCNA's report on Thursday morning local time contradicts South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff's assessment that Pyongyang had fired 2 short-range ballistic missiles off its eastern coast in the incident early Wednesday.

Why it matters: This was the second such test in a week. President Trump has repeatedly downplayed North Korea's missile tests since meeting Kim last month. Pyongyang is angry over planned U.S.-South Korean military drills and may be trying to press the United States for negotiation concessions, AP notes.

What they're saying: National Security Adviser John Bolton told Fox Business' " Lou Dobbs Tonight," "The firing of these missiles don’t violate the pledge that Kim Jong-un made to the president about intercontinental-range ballistic missiles."

Go deeper: Ignoring North Korean missile tests could hamper nuclear talks

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Kim Jong-un: North Korea missile tests a warning to U.S. and Seoul

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspecting the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Wednesday the country's latest launch of tactical guided missiles was designed to "send an adequate warning" to the U.S. and South Korea over this week's joint military drills, state media reports.

Why it matters: The launch of the newly developed, short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday was the 4th such exercise in less than 2 weeks. It comes as denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea stall, Reuters notes.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019

North Korea claims it tested "super-large" multiple rocket launcher

People watching a TV showing an image of a North Korean missile launch at the Seoul Railway Station on Aug. 10 in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun / Staff/ Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test-firing of a "newly developed super-large multiple rocket launcher," the country's state-run KCNA news agency reports.

Why it matters: This appears to be yet another demonstration of North Korea expanding its weapons arsenal apparently with the intention of increasing leverage ahead of the possible resumption of negotiations with the U.S. to denuclearize, as AP points out.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 25, 2019

North Korea: No talks unless U.S. military exercises with Seoul end

Kim Jong-un. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

There will not be inter-Korean talks unless the U.S. and South Korea end joint military exercises that put North Korea as "an enemy," a Pyongyang official said Saturday, according to state media.

Why it matters: The announcement came hours after North Korea launched projectiles from its eastern coast — the latest in a series of weapons tests since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump agreed to resume denuclearization talks at a June 30 meeting.

What they're saying: The state-run KCNA reports that Kim had "guided the test-fire of a new weapon," without specifying the type of system. Trump tweeted earlier that Kim has expressed a desire to restart negotiations.

Go deeper: Ignoring North Korean missile tests could hamper nuclear talks

Keep ReadingArrowAug 11, 2019