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North Korea trumpets missile launches as ‘solemn warning’ to South


North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, supervised the launch of “a new type of tactical guided weapon” as a “solemn warning to South Korean military warmongers”, the state news agency has said.

Kim “personally organised and guided” the firing of the “state-of-the-art weaponry system” on Thursday, KCNA said, a reference to the two short-range missiles fired into the sea. It was Pyongyang’s first missile test since an impromptu June meeting between Kim and Donald Trump in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea.

The North has warned that US-South Korean war games could affect the planned resumption of denuclearisation talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-un welcomes Donald Trump to North Korea – video

Kim was “gratified” with the outcome of the test, the state news agency said.

Kim complained that South Korean officials “show such strange double-dealing behaviour” by talking peace, but then “behind the scene, shipping ultra-modern offensive weapons and holding joint military exercises”.

The South Korean “chief executive” – presumably a reference to South Korean President Moon Jae-in – “should not make a mistake of ignoring the warning from Pyongyang”, KCNA said.

Kim said North Korea must “develop nonstop super powerful weapon systems to remove the potential and direct threats” to national security from South Korea.

On Friday the South Korean-US military command said Thursday’s missile launches were not a threat directed at South Korea or the United States and had “no impact on our defence posture”.

Seoul’s joint chiefs of staff had earlier confirmed the North “fired one unidentified projectile at 5.34am and the other at 5.57 am, from Wonsan areas into the East Sea, and they flew around 430km (267 miles).”

The US said that the missiles were “short range”.

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