North Korea reportedly tests new guided tactical weapon

The report said Kim described its development as one "of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People's Army".

This is the first known time Mr. Kim has observed the testing of a newly developed weapon system since last November, when North Korean media said he watched the successful test of an unspecified "newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon".

"It's not as flagrant a violation as an [intercontinental ballistic missile] test".

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet in Russia later this month, the Kremlin announced Thursday.

The Pentagon said the test didn't involve a ballistic missile and posed no threat to the United States or its allies in the Pacific.

Instead, the North has carried out smaller provocations.

AFP quoted Koh Yu-hwan, professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University, as saying the test was a message to the U.S. showing its displeasure over the stalled nuclear talks.

It is Putin's first meeting with a North Korean leader since 2002 when he met Kim's father, Kim Jong-Il in Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East. "They are giving the US till the end of this year to make a deal, but in the meantime, they will bolster their capabilities, untethered from any agreement".

Last week, Kim Jong Un said the failure of the talks could cause new problems between the two countries. Kim has only offered limited steps toward denuclearization.

"We can not give further details as they are matters of military intelligence", he said.

Joseph Yun, who served as US special representative for North Korea until past year, said North Korea had always been dubious about Pompeo, seeing him as a hardline conservative skeptical of engagement with North Korea.

Japan has advocated a tough approach to the North in contrast to South Korea, which has pushed for a step-by-step approach that would lift some worldwide sanctions as incentives.

However, the description provided by KCNA suggests that it does not represent a return to missile testing for the regime - a tactical weapon is created to be used on the battlefield, and is typically not a long-range armament.

North Korea's leadership said Thursday that it had test-fired a new "tactical guided weapon".

The announcement came after reports of new activity at a North Korean missile research centre and long-range rocket site where the North is believed to build long-range missiles targeting the USA mainland. "If it is a cruise missile, then it has no relevance with the current sanctions".

"Not a ballistic missile".

USA military officials said they did not detect any significant missile launches on Wednesday and the North's description of the "newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon" suggested it might have instead been an anti-tank guided missile or other short-range system.

Pompeo's refusal to step down and the joint U.S. "Recent events have pushed out nearly everyone apart from North Korea and the United States, and of course nobody likes that", he said.

The embassy said in a statement that the talks had been "constructive".

Harry Kazianis works with the Center for the National Interest in Washington.

"In the past, these specialized railcars appear to have been associated with the movement of radioactive material or reprocessing campaigns", the report said.

Putin has been something of an outsider over the past year as Kim has held multiple summits with the leaders of China, the United States and South Korea. President Trump has continued to emphasize the importance of his personal relationship with Kim.

  • Jon Douglas