SEOUL, 1 October (BelTA -Yonhap News). — North Korea said Friday it test-fired a new type of anti-aircraft missile a day earlier capable of downing air targets at longer distances with enhanced accuracy.
The North’s Academy of Defence Science carried out the test aimed at «confirming the practicality of operation of the launcher, radar and comprehensive battle command vehicle as well as the comprehensive combat performance of the missile,» the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
The academy verified the «remarkable» combat performance of the new missile that features rapid response and guided accuracy with a missile control system as it introduced new technologies that included «twin-rudder control technology» and a «double-impulse flight engine,» according to the KCNA.
The North has also been successful in substantially increasing the effective range of the missile, it added.
The twin-rudder control technology appears to be aimed at increasing mobility by attaching variable wings to the warhead and at the middle of the missile.
Pak Jong-chon, a member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the ruling Workers’ Party, guided the launch. Leader Kim Jong-un did not attend the firing.
South Korea’s unification ministry said it will continue efforts to restart inter-Korean talks while keeping a close watch on the North’s next move.
«The unification ministry will keep a close eye on North Korea, as well as our military’s further analysis, and continue our efforts to stably manage the situation on the Korean Peninsula by restoring the inter-Korean liaison communication lines and resuming dialogue,» Cha Deok-cheol, the ministry’s deputy spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.
North Korea has recently ratcheted up tensions by conducting its first test-launch of a hypersonic missile earlier this week, just two weeks after test-firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
The latest missile launch also comes as the North has signaled a willingness to improve ties with the South in recent weeks on the condition that Seoul drops its «double standards» of denouncing the North’s «defensive» weapons tests while justifying its own arms build-up.
During his speech at the second-day session of the Supreme People’s Assembly on Wednesday, leader Kim said that cross-border communication lines with South Korea will be restored in early October as part of efforts to improve chilled relations.
Kim also said the North has «neither aim nor reason» to provoke South Korea and urged Seoul to «get rid of the delusion» that it has to deter the North’s provocations.
Inter-Korean relations have remained in a deadlock since the no-deal summit between the U.S. and North Korea in early 2019.