North Korea confirms latest weapons tests as Kim visits ‘major’ munitions factory

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FILE PHOTO – A North Korean flag flies on a flagpole at North Korea’s Permanent Mission in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Picture

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SEOUL, Jan 28 (Reuters) – North Korea conducted tests of an improved long-range cruise missile and a tactically-guided missile warhead this week as leader Kim Jong Un visited a factory in ammunition producing a “major weapon system”, according to official media. KCNA said Friday.

An updated long-range cruise missile system was tested on Tuesday, and another test took place on Thursday to confirm the power of a conventional warhead for a surface-to-surface tactical guided missile, KCNA said.

In a separate dispatch, Kim praised the factory for making progress in the “production of major weapons” and occupying “a very important position and duty” in modernizing the country’s armed forces and realizing its national defense development strategy.

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The reports came a day after South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said they had detected the apparent launch of two short-range ballistic missiles, prompting condemnation from the United States for what would be the sixth round of missile tests this month. Read more

The JCS also said North Korea fired two cruise missiles into the sea off its east coast on Tuesday.

North Korea said this month it would strengthen its defenses against the United States and consider resuming “all temporarily suspended activities”, an apparent reference to a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons testing and long-range missiles. Read more

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Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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