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North Korea tests ‘tactical’ weapon: message for the United States?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected and led a new test of guided tactical weapons on Wednesday.
The report, published on Thursday morning, local time (Wednesday night ET) by the news agency KCNA, did not indicate exactly what type of weapon was tested, nor its potential scope.

However, the description provided by KCNA suggests that it does not represent a return of the regime to missile tests: a tactical weapon is designed to be used on the battlefield and, in general, is not a long-range weapon.

No missile launch was detected by the Northern Command and Strategic Command United States, officials of the Department of Defense.

Kim praised the capabilities of the weapon, the state agency reported.

Pyongyang conducted a “tactical” weapon test for the last time in November 2018. A South Korean source with military knowledge told that it was probably a long-range artillery piece, “possibly a multiple rocket launcher.” At that time, the deputy spokeswoman of the Unification Ministry of South Korea, Lee Eugene, downplayed the 2018 event and said that Kim had continued his inspections in the military sector “intermittently.”

The US special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, has also ruled out the importance of Pyongyang’s ballistic and non-nuclear missile tests.

Speaking at the Carnegie Nuclear Policy International Conference in 2019 in March, he denied that the November test was “a provocation” directed at the United States.

“Here we are, probably four, five months later. I do not think there is an expert who can tell me what they tried or if they actually tried something.

“All they posted was a picture of President Kim Jong Un on a beach … surrounded by uniformed men, holding notebooks, writing notes.”

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