North says Kim supervised test of new anti-ship missile

A small aircraft believed to be a North Korean drone found on a mountain near the demilitarised zone, in a photograph provided by the South's Defence Ministry yesterday.
A small aircraft believed to be a North Korean drone found on a mountain near the demilitarised zone, in a photograph provided by the South's Defence Ministry yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test launch of a new type of anti-ship cruise missile that can accurately hit targets such as an enemy battleship, the country's official KCNA news agency reported yesterday.

The new cruise rocket is "a powerful attack means capable of striking any enemy group of battleships attempting a military attack on the DPRK from the ground at will," KCNA said. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

Pyongyang launched what appeared to be several land-to-sea missiles early on Thursday off its east coast; they flew about 200km, said South Korea's military.

The launch came less than a week after the United Nations Security Council imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea, and drew condemnation from South Korean President Moon Jae In, who has hoped to engage Pyongyang in dialogue.

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North Korea's official media routinely reports on such missile launches the following day.

The rocket, tested from a tracked mobile launcher, was a new weapon displayed by North Korea for the first time during a military parade earlier this year, said KCNA. Experts said the new anti-ship missile has four launching canisters.

North Korea unveiled a number of new weapons at a massive military parade on April 15 to mark the anniversary of the birth of the state's founding leader, and has since tested some of them.

Meanwhile, South Korea yesterday said it had found what appears to be a North Korean drone equipped with a camera on a mountain near its border with the North.

Drone incursions from the North have increased in recent years.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2017, with the headline 'North says Kim supervised test of new anti-ship missile'. Print Edition | Subscribe