The North Korean leader personally observed the new weapon test on Wednesday, KCNA said, without providing details, other than saying it has a “peculiar mode of guiding flight” with a “powerful warhead.”
“The completion of the development of the weapon system serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing combat power,” Kim said.
The White House said it was aware of the weapons test report but refused to issue a comment.
The second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February wrapped up early, after the two leaders failed to strike an accord on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. While Washington insisted that North Korea should get rid of their missile and nuclear weapons programs, Kim allegedly made clear that Trump has to offer sanctions relief before the denuclearization process can proceed. For the last two months, the negotiations have stalled.
In the wake of the failed summit, Kim had promised to boost defense while giving the White House until the end of the year to change its “posture” in dealing with Pyongyang.
“I don’t see this [weapons test] as a provocation,” former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT America. “I think they feel that their expectations from Trump are not being met and this is their way of saying, ‘Hey, guys, listen, we’re still serious about this.’”
John Bolton and Mike Pompeo must be pumping the champagne corks
“Let’s remember that there has been a lot of resistance within the administration to president Trump’s outreach to North Korea. They don’t want this deal to go through because if there is the denuclearization of Korea, if there is an end to the Korean war, why do we have 29,000 troops in South Korea?” Jatras wondered.