North Korea has first weapons test since U.S. talks broke down

Click to play video: 'North Korea, U.S. nuclear talks break down in Sweden' North Korea, U.S. nuclear talks break down in Sweden
WATCH: North Korea, U.S. nuclear talks break down in Sweden – Oct 5, 2019

North Korea conducted another test of super-large multiple rocket launchers on Thursday afternoon, calling it a success, state news agency KCNA said on Friday.

The latest test of the “super-large multiple rocket launchers,” following two tests in August and September of the same weapon that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw, according to KCNA, indicates the progression of North Korea’s weapons development while talks with the United States remain in limbo.

The success of the tests was immediately reported, and Kim Jong Un “expressed satisfaction” and congratulated the scientists who had developed the weapon, KCNA said, indicating that Kim was not at the site.

READ MORE: North Korea negotiator says nuclear talks with U.S. have broken down

North Korea’s state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, showed a photo of the multiple rocket launcher, surrounded by yellow flames and smoke.

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Thursday’s test verified that the “continuous fire system” of the multiple rocket launchers is able to “totally destroy” a group target of the enemy by a surprise strike, KCNA added.

“North Korea is engaged in increasingly escalatory behavior,” Republican U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, said in a statement.

“This launch and continued North Korean aggression underscore the need for the Trump Administration to re-commit to the maximum pressure policy” and for Congress to impose additional sanctions against the Kim government, Gardner said.

Click to play video: 'North Korea TV airs photos of Kim Jong Un overseeing ‘super-large’ rocket test' North Korea TV airs photos of Kim Jong Un overseeing ‘super-large’ rocket test
North Korea TV airs photos of Kim Jong Un overseeing ‘super-large’ rocket test – Aug 25, 2019

The weapons test, the first since one day of talks between the United States and North Korea ended without an agreement on Oct. 5 in Sweden, comes as North Korea repeatedly emphasizes an end-of-the-year deadline for denuclearisation talks with Washington that Kim set earlier this year.

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Although Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump have a “special” relationship, “Washington political circles and DPRK policymakers of the U.S. administration are hostile to the DPRK for no reason,” a North Korean statement on KCNA said last month.

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