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North Korea test-fires 'super large' launcher

12 September 2019

The timing would mean Pyongyang tested the weapon the same day as a testfire of twin short-range projectiles, hours after Pyongyang signalled was open to resuming talks with Washington.

As for criticism that South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff have not revealed more about Tuesday's launches, . including the projectiles' flight altitude, the Joint Chiefs responded that it's due to concerns about exposing the South Korean military's intel gathering.

It was the second known test of a super-large multiple rocket launcher that North Korea says is needed to cope with outside military threats.

In April, Kim said he was open to another summit with Trump but set the end of the year as a deadline for the offer improved terms for an agreement to revive the nuclear diplomacy. This suggests North Korea is trying to maintain the momentum for dialogue with the United States, experts say.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the testing of a super-large multiple rocket launcher in North Korea, in this undated photo released on September 10, 2019 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The military here has regularly been embarrassed by North Korea a day later, when state media published their own announcements and clips.

Although U.S. President Donald Trump has played down previous tests this year, saying he did not believe short-range missiles violated any agreements, now-ousted national security adviser John Bolton had said even short-range launches by North Korea are banned under United Nations resolutions.

While North Korea has said it is willing to resume talks, Kim has given a year-end deadline for Washington to take a new approach.

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In a statement issued in late August, Vice Foreign Minister Choe said that expectations of dialogue with the USA are "gradually disappearing".

United States President, Donald Trump said on Wednesday that John Bolton who was dismissed as America's national security adviser had been a "disaster" on North Korea policy, "out of line" on Venezuela, and did not get along with important administration officials.

Kim and Trump agreed to restart working-level talks within a few weeks when they met at the inter-Korean border in late June, but the talks have not been held amid heightened tensions amid the North's continued weapons tests.

Trump has downplayed the latest North Korean weapons tests, saying the USA never restricted short-range tests.

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Most of North Korea's recent tests since May have been of a new missile known as the KN-23, which weapons experts said can deliver a nuclear warhead to all of South Korea and parts of Japan and is created to evade US missile interceptors.

North Korea test-fires 'super large' launcher