Missile test comes as hermit state pushes to reopen dormant communication channels with South Korea in small reconciliation step.
North Korea said Friday it had test-fired a newly developed anti-aircraft missile in the fourth round of weapons firings in recent weeks, even as it pushes to reopen dormant communication channels with South Korea in a small reconciliation step, the Associated Press reports.
In September, North Korea resumed its first missile tests in six months but still offered conditional talks with Seoul in what some experts say is an attempt to extract concessions in its nuclear diplomacy with the U.S. Earlier this week, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un expressed his willingness to restore communication hotlines with South Korea in coming days to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The Korean Central News Agency said the anti-aircraft missile test is “of very practical significance in studying and developing various prospective anti-aircraft missile system.”
It said the test was aimed at confirming the practicality of operation of the launcher, radar and battle command vehicle as well as the combat performance of the missile.
South Korea, Japan and the United States typically publicly confirm North Korean missile launches soon after they occur, but did not do so for Thursday’s test, indicating it may not have been a major weapons test.
While Kim said he intended to reopen inter-Korean hotlines during his speech at parliament, he also shrugged off U.S. offers for dialogue as a “cunning” concealment of its hostility against the North. He also reiterated the North’s demands that South Korea abandon a “double-dealing attitude” over the North’s missile tests if Seoul wants to see the resumption of talks and major cooperation steps.
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