A day after two North Korean missile launches rattled Asia, the nation announced Friday that Kim Jong Un supervised a test of a new type of tactical guided weapon that was meant to be a "solemn warning" about South Korean weapons introduction and its rival's plans to hold military exercises with the United States. The message in the country's state media quoted Kim and was directed at "South Korean military warmongers," the AP reports. It comes as US and North Korean officials struggle to set up talks after a recent meeting on the Korean border between Kim and President Trump seemed to provide a step forward in stalled nuclear negotiations. Although the North had harsh words for South Korea, the statement stayed away from the kind of belligerent attacks on the United States that have marked past announcements, a possible signal that it's interested in keeping diplomacy alive.
The statement made clear, however, that North Korea is infuriated over Seoul's purchase of US-made high-tech fighter jets and US-South Korean plans to hold military drills this summer. After watching the launches, Kim said they are "hard to intercept" because of the "low-altitude gliding and leaping flight orbit of the tactical guided missile," according to the Korean Central News Agency. South Korean officials said Thursday the weapons North Korea fired were a new type of a short-range ballistic missile and that a detailed analysis is necessary to find out more about the missiles. But many civilian experts say the weapons are likely a North Korean version of the Russian-made Iskander, a short-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile that has been in the Russian arsenal for more than a decade.
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