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North Korea says it tested ‘newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon’

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North Korea has tested a “newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon”, according to its state media, which did not reveal any further details.

Kim Jong Un observed a successful test of the weapon, which did not appear to be nuclear or missile-related, after several missile tests last year ramped up tensions with the West.

Pyongyang had indicated it was looking to engage over concerns about its nuclear weapons programme after Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump held a summit in Singapore in June.

However, diplomacy between the two leaders has stalled since and the latest test could influence further talks.

The military drill – North Korea’s first public weapons test since November last year – could be in response to South Korea resuming small-scale military drills with the US.

Pyongyang reportedly expressed anger at the military exercises.

Nonetheless, Friday’s report was noticeably less hostile in tone and did not focus on any tensions with Washington or Seoul.

According to South Korea’s Unification Ministry, Mr Kim’s inspection of the weapons test was the first publicly-known one since the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile was tested in November last year.

Responding to the latest weapons test, the US State Department said: “We remain confident that the promises made by President Trump and Chairman Kim will be fulfilled.”

North Korean state media reported that Mr Kim could not hide his “passionate joy” at the success of the test, which took place at the Academy of National Defence Science.

The politician was described as “so excited to say that another great work was done by the defence scientists and munitions industrial workers to increase the defence capability of the country”.

The unspecified weapon is said to have been under development for a long time and will help strengthen the combat power of North Korea, according the state media report on Friday.

According to several experts last year, Pyongyang was on the brink of a viable arsenal of nuclear missiles, which could target anywhere in the US.

Since Mr Kim and Mr Trump’s summit in June, Washington has called for more action on nuclear disarmament and Pyongyang has called for the US to first approve a peace declaration to formally end the Korean war.

The two leaders are keen on another summit but it is not known when it might happen.

(c) Sky News 2018: North Korea says it tested ‘newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon’