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N. Korea showing no signs of rolling out new weapons system: USFK chief

North Korea 23:36 September 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is not currently showing any indications that it may be rolling out a new weapons system in the near future, the head of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Thursday, while saying that the impoverished North may be too caught up in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and amplified effects of sanctions.

"There's people suggesting that perhaps there'll be a rollout of a new weapons system. Ah, Maybe. But we're not seeing any indications right now, any sort of lashing out," USFK Commander Gen. Robert Abrams said in a webinar hosted by Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).

His remark comes amid widespread speculation that the North may unveil a new weapons system in the near future to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers' Party on Oct. 10.

CSIS has reported what it claimed to be signs of a possible test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile at North Korea's main submarine shipyard in northeastern Sinpo.

Abrams argued that the impoverished North, as well as its military, may be too caught up with keeping the country whole against international sanctions whose intended effects may be coming to full force and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"So as a result, you know the regime right now, their military is focused principally on getting their country recovered and to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19," he told the virtual seminar.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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