North Korea Claims Testing New Guided Tactical Weapon

North Korea has tested a new type of tactical guided weapon designed to strengthen its nuclear fighting capability, state media reported Sunday.

The recent test was the 13th round of weapons launches by Pyongyang in 2022, amid global concerns that North Korea may soon conduct a nuclear test to expand its weapons arsenal.

The official Korean Central News Agency said leader Kim Jong Un and other top officials observed the launch, which has “great significance in drastically improving the firepower of the frontline long-range artillery units, enhancing the efficiency in the operation of (North Korea’s) tactical nukes of and diversification of their firepower missions.”

On Sunday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff also said that they had detected two projectile launches from the North’s eastern coastal town of Hamhung on Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, analysts said North Korea could perform more missile tests after the South Korean and U.S. militaries begin their annual drills this week.

“One reason for the political timing could be to protest anticipated U.S.-South Korea military drills,” Senior Analyst Kim at Washington’s Center for a New American Security.

North Korea has started 2022 with a slew of weapons tests, including its first flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017.

South Korean and U.S. officials said Pyongyang could soon launch another ICBM test, a rocket launch to put a spy satellite into orbit, or even a nuclear test explosion that would be the seventh of its kind.

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