North Korea test fires ‘tactical weapon,’ experts say Kim Jong-un is sending a message


North Korea announced the testing of a new ‘tactical guided weapon’ Wednesday.

Marn J. Cha, professor emeritus of political science at Fresno State, said the move should not raise red flags, yet.

“If they do it continuously in a certain consistent pattern then I think it may mean something,” he said.

The weapon test was the first of its kind since the historic Singapore summit in November. Leader Kim Jong-un had also pushed pause on nuclear testing. He had also been pressuring President Donald Trump for sanctions relief.

“This is an exercise in (North Korea’s) way of diplomacy, not an exercise in belligerent aggression that is forthcoming,” Cha said. 

He said Kim is possibly sending a message.

“They would like to give a signal that ‘we are not cornered into any surrender or complete helplessness, but we do have some means,'” he said.

The moves comes less than a week after Kim announced the possibility of a third summit, to which Trump tweeted out: “Our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate, and that a third summit would be good.”

Cha said Kim may be testing the boundaries, but won’t jeopardize those coveted negotiations. 

“For him doing something funny to have that possibility wiped off (the table) is very not practical or wise,” Cha said. 

It’s not clear what type of weapon was tested, but experts are said it does not appear to be a ballistic missile which would jeopardize any future talks between the two leaders. 

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