SEOUL – North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un personally oversaw the latest short-range ballistic missile launches carried out by Pyongyang and said that they were a warning for Seoul and Washington, the regime’s official media reported on Wednesday.
As he did with the other three launches in less than two weeks, Kim personally went to observe the tests of “a new-type tactical guided weapon system” conducted on Tuesday from the west coast of North Korea, according to state news agency KCNA, which also published photos of the tests.
“The demonstration fire clearly verified the reliability, security and actual war capacity of the new-type tactical guided weapon system,” KCNA said, while also reporting their leader’s comments on the motive of the test.
Kim said that the “military action would be an occasion to send an adequate warning to the joint military drill now under way,” according to KCNA.
The leader of North Korea referred to the joint military maneuvers that the two allies are conducting between Aug. 5-20 in South Korea, and whose scale has been significantly reduced compared to previous years following the agreements reached at the inter-Korean summits and at the meetings between the leaders of the US and Pyongyang.
In addition to its latest launch on Tuesday, Pyongyang also threatened Seoul and Washington, saying they would pay “a heavy price” for their maneuvers.
The regime accused them of breaching the agreements reached at the summits, and warned through a statement from the ministry of foreign affairs that it could seek a “new road” other than dialogue.
The four separate missile launches carried out by North Korea since July 25 included short-range ballistic missiles, according to a first analysis of South Korean forces.
Up to now, the administration of US President Donald Trump has downplayed these arms tests and said that they do not violate the agreements reached at its summits with the North Korean leader.
At their last, improvised summit on the inter-Korean border at the end of June, Trump and Kim agreed to reactivate the dialogue on the denuclearization of the peninsula, although this has yet to occur.