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North Korea announces test of new 'tactical guided weapon'
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the testing of a new type of tactical guided weapon on Wednesday, state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Thursday.
It is North Korea's first public weapons test since the second U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi ended with no agreement in February.
KCNA did not describe exactly what the weapon is, including whether it was a missile or another type of weapon, but "tactical" implies a short-range weapon, as opposed to the long-range ballistic missiles that have been seen as a threat to the United States.
Nevertheless, the weapon has a "peculiar mode of guiding flight" and "a powerful warhead," KCNA said.
Kim said "the completion of the development of the weapon system serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power" of the North Korean army, according to KCNA.
Last year, Kim had also overseen a test of an unidentified "tactical weapon" in November which could protect North Korea like a "steel wall", according to state media, which experts said was part of Kim's initiative to shift the mainstay of the conventional military power from a nearly 1.3 million-strong army to high-tech weapons.
In April 2018, Kim had said North Korea would stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, because Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities had been "verified."
There was no immediate response to requests for comment from the White House, Pentagon or U.S. State Department.
The news of Kim's visit to the tactical weapon testing site comes after the North Korean leader visited the North Korean Air and Anti-aircraft Force on Tuesday, according to KCNA, inspecting a flight drill and expressing "great satisfaction" at their combat readiness.
Meanwhile, satellite images from last week show movement at North Korea's main nuclear site of Yongbyon that could be associated with the reprocessing of radioactive material into bomb fuel, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the United States said on Tuesday.
U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a Bloomberg News interview on Wednesday that the United States needs to see "a real indication from North Korea that they've made the strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons," before a third summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim.
WATCH NEXT: North Korea Fires Its 'Most Powerful' ICBM yet
Former Marine Commandant tells Trump that pardoning troops accused of war crimes 'relinquishes the moral high ground'
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
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President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."