On October 31st, North Korea carried out another successful test of a super-large multiple rocket launcher.
The Academy of Defense Science organized the test-fire to verify the security of launchers’ continuous fire system.
“After receiving a report of the Academy of Defense Science on the military and technical appreciation of the test-fire, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un expressed satisfaction over it and sent congratulations to the national defense scientists who are devotedly struggling for developing the self-defensive military muscle of the country and bolstering up its armed forces.
The perfection of the continuous fire system was verified through the test-fire to totally destroy with super-power the group target of the enemy and designated target area by surprise strike of the weapon system of super-large multiple rocket launchers,” North Korean state news agency KCNA reported.
South Korea’s military said that the North fired two short-range projectiles from a western region toward the East Sea, saying that both flew about 370 kilometers with a maximum altitude of around 90 km.
According to Yonhap, this took place amid a lack of progress on denuclearization between North Korea and the US and “chilled” inter-Korea ties.
“Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture,” the JCS said, calling on the North to “immediately stop such an act that does not help efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.”
This was the 12th time that North Korea has carried out such a weapons test so far this year, with the last test-firing taking place on October 2nd, when it tested a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile, the Pukguksong-3, from waters off its east coast.
During the previous 10 rounds of tests, the North test-fired short-range projectiles, including its version of Russia’s Iskander ballistic missile and a “super-large” multiple rocket launcher system.
The multiple rocket launcher system was first test on September 10th, from its western city of Kaechon, South Pyongan Province, eastward, Pyongyang hinted at additional test firings by saying,
“What remains to be done is running fire test which is most vivid character in terms of the power of multiple rocket launcher.”
The October 31st firing came one day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a condolence message over the death of President Moon Jae-in’s mother; a surprise move that had briefly raised hope for the possibility of Pyongyang softening its stance on Seoul.
In the week ending October 27th, North Korea demanded that Seoul remove all of its long-abandoned facilities at the Mount Kumgang resort in its territory. It then turned down Seoul’s proposal to hold a working-level meeting to talk about the fate of the long-suspended tourism project.
North Korea has also stepped up its demands to the US to meet before the end of the year, before which Washington needs to come up with a new proposal on how to exchange denuclearization measures and sanctions relief.
In early October, the two sides held the first nuclear talks since February’s failed summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but the meeting in Sweden ended without an agreement, with the North accusing the U.S. of failing to put forward a new proposal.
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