North Korea has test-fired a new weapons system, under the supervision of leader Kim Jong Un, that it claims will boost the efficiency of its tactical nuclear weapons, the official Korean Central News Agency said early Sunday.
The “new-type tactical guided weapon… is of great significance in drastically improving the firepower of the frontline long-range artillery units and enhancing the efficiency in the operation of tactical nukes,” the KCNA report said, without specifying when the test took place.
It added the test was successful.
Kim gave the military research team “important instructions on further building up the defence capabilities and nuclear combat forces,” the report added.
On Friday, North Korea marked the birthday of North Korea’s founding leader, Kim’s grandfather Kim Il Sung, with a huge public procession, fireworks, and synchronised dancing—but no military parade as many observers had predicted.
Analysts and South Korean and US officials also had thought a nuclear test was possible on the important anniversary.
The anniversary celebrations came three weeks after North Korea staged its largest intercontinental ballistic missile test ever—the first time Kim’s most powerful weapon had been fired at full range since 2017.
That test was the culmination of a record-breaking blitz of sanctions-busting launches this year and signalled an end to a self-imposed moratorium on long-range and nuclear tests.