PYONGYANG WANTS STRONGER ARMS
More powerful weapons needed to defend against the US, says Kim
NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervised the test of a new ballistic missile controlled by a precision guidance system and ordered the development of more powerful strategic weapons, the North’s official KCNA news agency reported yesterday.
The missile launched on Mon- day was equipped with an advanced automated pre-launch sequence compared with previous versions of the “Hwasong” rockets, North Korea’s name for its Scud-class missiles, KCNA said.
The North’s test launch of a short-range ballistic missile landed in the sea off its east coast and was the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying international pressure and the threat of more sanctions.
Kim said the reclusive state would develop more powerful weapons in multiple phases in accordance with its timetable to defend North Korea against the United States.
“He expressed the conviction that it would make a greater leap forward in this spirit to send a bigger ‘gift package’ to the Yankees” in retaliation for American military provocation, KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
South Korea said it had conducted a joint drill with a US supersonic B-1B Lancer bomber on Monday. North Korea’s state media earlier accused the US of staging a drill to practise dropping nuclear bombs on the Korean peninsula.
The US Navy said its aircraft carrier strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson, also planned a drill with another US nuclear carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, in waters near the Korean peninsula.
North Korea calls such drills a preparation for war.