Stoking tensions, N. Korea test launches ‘new’ weapon system
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Stoking tensions, N. Korea test launches ‘new’ weapon system

With Trump ramping up pressure, Kim Jon-Un said to personally oversee missile dispatch, says anti-aircraft apparatus will ‘spoil enemy’s wild dream to control the air’

Illustrative: A South Korean army soldier walks by a TV news program showing a file image of missiles being test-launched by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, May 14, 2017. (AP/Ahn Young-joon)
Illustrative: A South Korean army soldier walks by a TV news program showing a file image of missiles being test-launched by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, May 14, 2017. (AP/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has personally overseen a test of a new anti-aircraft weapon system, state media said Sunday, amid mounting tensions in the region following a series of missile tests by Pyongyang.

Over the past few months, the young leader has overseen several military drills, including the test-firing of a medium-range ballistic missile last Sunday, as Washington has sought to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear ambitions.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Kim “watched the test of a new-type anti-aircraft guided weapon system,” which was aimed at “detecting and striking different targets flying from any direction.”

KCNA did not give the exact date and location of the drill.

Pyongyang first tested the new weapon system in April last year, when some defects had been discovered, but Kim said the latest test verified that all glitches had been “perfectly overcome,” KCNA said.

A TV news program shows a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, May 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A TV news program shows a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, May 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The system’s ability “to detect and track targets has remarkably improved and its hitting accuracy has also increased” compared to last year, Kim was quoted as saying.

Expressing his satisfaction, he said the weapons system “should be mass-produced to deploy in all over the country like forests so as to completely spoil the enemy’s wild dream to command the air, boasting of air supremacy and weapon almighty.”

Tensions are high in the region over the nuclear-armed North’s weapons ambitions and its regular test-firing of ballistic missiles.

The North has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of rocket firings since the beginning of last year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.

US President Donald Trump (R) takes part in a bilateral meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Villa Diodoro on the sidelines of the G7 on May 26, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily. (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)
US President Donald Trump (R) takes part in a bilateral meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Villa Diodoro on the sidelines of the G7 on May 26, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily. (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

Pyongyang’s media outlets have also recently stepped up their calls for even more missile launches due to what Pyongyang claims is an increasingly hostile policy by President Donald Trump.

“The Trump administration would be well advised to lend an ear to the voices of concern that are heard from the US and the international community,” the North’s Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary last week. “Many more weapons capable of striking the US will be launched from this land. This is the DPRK’s answer to the Trump administration.”

In a Friday meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G7 conference in Italy, Trump warned anew about the threat posed by North Korea.

“It’s a big problem, it’s a world problem, but it will be solved at some point,” he said. “It will be solved, you can bet on that.”

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