The Latest: Pence cites progress on N. Korea but more needed
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on North Korea’s new tactical weapon test (all times local):
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says “great progress” has been made on North Korea but more had to be done, after Pyongyang reported a successful test of a new weapon.
Pence spoke from a Southeast Asian summit in Singapore on Friday as North Korea’s state media reported that leader Kim Jong Un had observed the successful test of “a newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon.”
Pence said a year and a half ago, “nuclear tests were taking place, missiles were flying over Japan and there were threats and propagations” against the U.S. and others. But now, “no more missiles are flying, no more nuclear tests, our hostages have come home, and North Korea has begun anew to return fallen American heroes from the Korean war to our soil. We made great progress but there’s more work to be done,” he added.
North Korea didn’t say what the weapon was, although the test didn’t appear to involve a nuclear device or long-range missile.
North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un has observed the successful test of a “newly developed high-tech tactical” weapon.
The report Friday from state media didn’t say what sort of weapon it was, although it didn’t appear to be of a nuclear or missile related test. Still, any mention of weapons testing could influence the direction of stalled diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang that’s meant to rid the North of its nuclear weapons.
The North said the test took place at the Academy of National Defense Science and that Kim couldn’t suppress his “passionate joy” at the success of the test.
The South Korean Yonhap news agency says it was Kim’s first publicly known guidance of a weapons test since he supervised an ICBM launch in late November 2017.
Last year saw a string of tests that many believe put the North on the brink of a viable arsenal of nuclear tipped missiles that can target the U.S.