North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the testing of a super-large multiple rocket launcher, according to North Korean state media KCNA.
On Tuesday, North Korea fired a new round of short-range projectiles, South Korean officials said, only hours after it signalled a new willingness to resume stalled denuclearisation talks with the United States in late September.
Kim ordered future tasks and ways to “steadily” attain cutting-edge national defence to officials that had joined him, including senior officials such as his sister Kim Yo Jong, KCNA said.
However, it did not declare the test a success, prompting analysts to speculate that the weapon did not work properly.
Images released by KCNA show Kim overseeing the launch, accompanied by his sister and top aide Kim Yo-jong, and what appears to be a system with four 600-mm launch tubes mounted on a mobile platform.
In addition, the photos reveal that North Korea was able to test three rockets even though South Korean and the US military authorities only detected the launch of two.
The latest test came only a few hours after North Korea’s first deputy Foreign Minister, Choe Son-hui, in a statement said that Pyongyang was willing to set a date for a discussion with the US later this month.
The statement marked a breakthrough when it comes to potentially ending a deadlock in nuclear talks between North Korea and the US.
Last month, North Korea fired two projectiles presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea,
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had agreed to restart working-level dialogue during an impromptu meeting at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the nuclear-armed North and South Korea in June, but those talks have yet to begin.
Although, Trump has played down previous tests this year, saying he did not believe short-range missiles violated any agreements, now-ousted national security adviser John Bolton had said even short-range launches by North Korea are banned under UN resolutions.
However, the projectile launch soon after Choe’s statement is being interpreted as one more attempt by North Korea to gain leverage and build pressure on starting the dialogue.