North Korea tests new multiple rocket launcher

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said yesterday leader Kim Jong-un supervised the test-firing of a “newly developed super-large multiple rocket launcher,” another demonstration of its expanding weapons arsenal apparently aimed at increasing its leverage ahead of a possible resumption of nuclear talks with the United States (US).

The North’s Korean Central News Agency (KNCA) said last Saturday’s weapons test was successful and cited Kim as saying the rocket launcher is “indeed a great weapon”.

Kim underscored the need to “continue to step up the development of Korean-style strategic and tactical weapons for resolutely frustrating the ever-mounting military threats and pressure offensive of the hostile forces,” according to the KCNA.

The “hostile forces” likely referred to the US and South Korea, whose recently ended regular military drills infuriated North Korea. The North has called the drills an invasion rehearsal and conducted a slew of missile and rocket tests in response.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smiles after the test firing of an unspecified missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. – PHOTO: AP