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N. Korea's new weapon appears to be 'guided weapon for ground combat': S. Korean military

All Headlines 13:53 April 19, 2019

SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) -- The "new tactical guided weapon" that North Korea claimed to have test-fired this week is believed to be a weapon for ground combat, not a ballistic missile, an officer of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday.

On Thursday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the test launch of a new "tactical guided weapon," the first such event in five months, calling the weapon's development an "event of very weighty significance" in beefing up its military power.

The KCNA did not specify what the newly developed weapon was.

"We see it as a guided weapon for the purpose of ground battles," the JSC officer said on condition of anonymity, adding it does not appear to be a ballistic missile.

While noting that such an assessment was made jointly with the U.S. authorities, he refused to give any further details.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan of the United States also characterized the test as a "new tactical guided weapons firing test" that was "not a ballistic missile."

According to analysts, the new weapon appeared to have traveled a short distance at a low altitude, which could be a short-range guided missile like the Israeli-made Spike missile with a range of around 20 kilometers.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smiles during a visit to an air base for an inspection of a flight drill on April 16, 2019, in this photo captured from the Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station on April 17. As is customary, the station didn't provide the location. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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