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Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 14:25
DPRK confirms 2nd test of multiple rocket launcher
By Associated Press
Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 14:25 By Associated Press

This Sept 10, 2019, photo provided by the DPRK government shows a test-firing from a multiple rocket launcher at an undisclosed location in the DPRK. (PHOTO / AP)

SEOUL, South Korea — The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Wednesday leader Kim Jong-un observed the test-launch of a super-large multiple rocket launcher, the latest in a series of weapons tests performed amid stalled diplomacy over the DPRK nuclear program.

Tuesday's rocket launcher test was made hours after the DPRK said it was willing to resume nuclear negotiations with the United States in late September. While offering talks, DPRK still warned its dealings with the US may end if Washington fails to come to the negotiating table without new acceptable proposals.

While offering talks, DPRK still warned its dealings with the US may end if Washington fails to come to the negotiating table without new acceptable proposals

Some experts said DPRK aims to wrest concessions from the United States once their diplomacy resumes.

READ MORE: DPRK says to resume talks but adds pressure with new launches

The Korean Central News Agency said Kim, accompanied by top military and ruling Workers' Party officials, supervised the two rounds of test-firings at an unidentified place on Tuesday.

It was the second known test of a super-large multiple rocket launcher that DPRK says is needed to cope with outside military threats. The first test of the weapon occurred on Aug 24.

Tuesday's test fulfilled its purpose and allowed authorities to decide "the next-stage orientation to complete the weapon system," KCNA said. It quoted Kim as saying what remains to be done is "running fire test."

ALSO READ: DPRK's Kim guides test-firing of new multiple rocket launcher

Tuesday's weapons test was the eighth round of launches by DPRK since late July. Other weapons tested include at least three other newly developed short-range missile and rocket artillery systems that experts say would potentially expand its capabilities to strike targets throughout the Republic of Korea (ROK). ROK military said the two DPRK projectiles fired Tuesday flew about 330 kilometers in the direction of the waters off DPRK's east coast.

US-led diplomacy aimed at stripping DPRK of nuclear weapons collapsed after the second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in Vietnam in February ended without any agreement due to disputes over US-led sanctions on the DPRK. Kim and Trump met again at a Korean border village in late June and agreed to resume talks.

The DPRK weapons tested in the past weeks were all short-range, and the country is still keeping its promise not to carry out nuclear and long-range missile tests. This suggests DPRK is trying to maintain the momentum for dialogue with the United States, experts say.

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