North Korean state media claims the country has tested a “a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon.”
State-run media KCNA said on Saturday that Kim Jong Un watched the test and said that defects in the system have been fixed.
The new reported test comes after heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula, and follows international condemnation of several banned ballistic missile tests the isolated nation has carried out so far this year.
Experts said some of the North’s claims about its anti-aircraft systems are doubtful.
“North Korea tested the new-type anti-aircraft guided weapons system and suggested that they can even hit the stealth aircraft and ballistic missiles, but I think this is exaggeration given their level of technology at this point,” Yang Uk, a North Korean expert at advisory committee for the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, told NBC News.
North Korea’s most recent ballistic missile test was conducted last week, when North Korea launched a medium-range ballistic missile. Another missile launched in mid-May flew around 430 miles before crashing into the sea, officials have said. Some other tests conducted this year ended in the missiles blowing up shortly after launch.
The U.S. military said it will try to shoot down an intercontinental-range missile in a test next week. The planned missile shoot down is intended to test the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, the Missile Defense Agency said this week.
North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests so far, including two last year. The first was in 2006. It has warned it is ready to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, but has never successfully launched such a missile.
Yang said the tests are Kim Jong Un’s way to try and gain leverage if any future negotiations with other nations occurs.
Dr. Koh Yuwhan, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, said that even if negotiations approach the point of North Korea scaling back its programs, the country is more likely to offer to suspend nuclear tests rather than missile technology.
“Their goal is to reach the ICBM,” Koh said.