North Korea Test Fires New Tactical Guided Weapon One Month After Trump-Kim Talks Broke Down

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has reported that North Korea test-fired a new tactical guided weapon Wednesday. The White House claimed it was aware of the report, but had no immediate comment, according to the Associated Press.

The report of a test fire comes a little more than a month after North Korea reportedly began reassembling the Sohae Satellite Launching Facility. The site, which uses technology similar to what's needed to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, had been dismantled after Kim's first summit with President Donald Trump. But after the second round of talks broke down in Vietnam, North Korea began its Sohae facility activity.

North Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un said on Wednesday "the development of the weapon system serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People's Army," according to the report by the Korean news agency.

"I was often completely moved in admiration at the time of strategic weapons development but seeing this it seems our scientists, engineers and the labor class is truly great. If they are willing then no weapon is beyond creation," Kim said.

Photos were obtained by NBC last month of North Korean activity at Sohae, just two days after the Hanoi Summit broke down between Trump and Kim.

Victor Cha, a co-author of the Beyond Parallel report, said last month Kim was preparing for a test launch.

"The activity they are undertaking now is consistent with preparations for a test, though the imagery thus far does not show a missile being moved to the launch pad," Cha said. "The activity on the ground…shows us that they do have a (nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile) capability that is not just developmental, but in the prototype phase. They've already tested a few of these and it looks like they're preparing the launch pad for another act."

The technology at the Sohae Facility, which sat dormant from August 2018 — after the first summit — until last month, has the capability of launching a missile toward the U.S. mainland.

National security adviser John Bolton said last month that any test fire by North Korea would be detrimental to diplomacy between the U.S. and the country.

"Well, the president himself said he would be very, very disappointed — his phrase — if North Korea were to resume missile testing or nuclear testing," Bolton told CNN. "This was a commitment that Kim Jong Un has made several times to him now. So, if in fact they decided to start testing again, it would have a real impact on the president."

Trump was the first U.S. president to ever meet with a North Korean leader when he met Kim in Singapore in 2018. After the Singapore meeting, Kim pledged to return the remains of Americans from the Korean War and to also dismantle missile-launching sites. American bodies were returned to the United States, Kim began dismantling missile sites and no test launches were made.

But once Trump walked away from Kim at the Hanoi Summitt, activity began at the missile site.

This latest test-fire report comes before a scheduled meeting between Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to CNN.

North Korea Test Fires New Tactical Guided Weapon One Month After Trump-Kim Talks Broke Down | U.S.