NKorea again tests 'super-large' rocket launcher: KCNA

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This picture taken on September 10, 2019 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 11, 2019 shows a test firing of a "super-large multiple rocket launcher" at an undisclosed location in North Korea. -AFP

SEOUL - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has supervised a fresh test of a "super-large multiple rocket launcher" system, state media said Wednesday -- the latest in a series of provocations by Pyongyang.

South Korea's military said Tuesday that the North had launched "unidentified projectiles" from the Kaechon area in South Pyongan province. They flew approximately 330 kilometers.

The launch came shortly after Pyongyang said it was willing to hold working-level talks on denuclearization later this month with the United States.

Kim "gave field guidance" for Tuesday's test, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

The "super-large multiple rocket launcher" was tested in an exercise observed by Kim about two weeks ago.

The KCNA report said the test was aimed at "measuring the time of combat deployment" and implied another test could follow.

"What remains to be done is running fire test which is most vivid character in terms of the power of multiple rocket launcher," KCNA said.

On Monday, the North's vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui said in a statement carried by KCNA that the country had "willingness to sit with the US side for comprehensive discussions of the issues we have so far taken up" later this month, at a time and place to be determined.

Kim and US President Donald Trump adopted a vaguely-worded statement on the "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula" at their first summit in Singapore in June last year, but little progress has since been made on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Trump and Kim had agreed to restart working-level talks during a meeting at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean peninsula in June, but those talks have yet to begin. -AFP


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