North Korea test fires new anti-aircraft missile

Latest missile launch comes day after Kim Jong-Un stated that he is willing to restore communication with South Korea.

North Korea test fires new anti-aircraft missile

North Korea announced on Friday that it has successfully test-fired a new type of anti-aircraft missile capable of shooting down its air target.

The country's Academy of Defense Science on Thursday conducted a test of the anti-aircraft missile it has recently developed, state-run media said.

The newly developed missile test aimed to confirm the practicality of operation of the launcher, radar, and all-purpose battle command vehicle, as well as the comprehensive combat performance, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

Pak Jong Chon, a member of the Political Bureau's Presidium and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, watched the test launch with leading officials in the field of national defense scientific research.

"The overall test is of very practical significance in studying and developing various prospective anti-aircraft missile systems," KCNA reported, citing the Academy of Defense Science statement.

The remarkable combat performance and the introduction of new key technologies such as twin-rudder control technology and a double-impulse flight engine demonstrated its ability to down air, it added.

The latest missile launch came just a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un stated that he is willing to restore communication with South Korea, but brushed off US offers for talks as "cunning ways" and "a petty trick" to mask hostilities against Pyongyang.

In an address to the country’s parliament, Kim said relations with Seoul are still “at a crossroads” and it is imperative that South Korean authorities change their “confrontational” attitude toward the North.

On Tuesday, North Korea tested a newly developed hypersonic missile just a week after test-firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.

In response to North Korea's latest move, the South Korean 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," Yonhap News Agency quoted Cha Deok-cheol, the ministry's deputy spokesperson as saying.

Tensions have been high on the Korean Peninsula after both Pyongyang and Seoul test-launched ballistic missiles just hours apart last month.

The sudden escalation came as the already fraught relations between the neighbors were further strained by the joint US and South Korean military drills in August.

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Hüseyin Demir

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