Kim Jong Un Intensifies North Korea's Military Arsenal, Tests New Rocket Launch System: Report

Zinger Key Points
  • Kim Jong Un oversees testing of new rocket launch system aimed at South Korean population centers.
  • North Korea intensifies weapons testing, seeks to bolster military capabilities amid diplomatic standstill.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly oversaw the testing of a new multiple rocket launch system, set to deploy this year, reinforcing its arsenal aimed at South Korean population centers.

According to North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, Friday’s test affirmed the effectiveness and destructive capability of the 240-millimeter multiple rocket launcher and its guided shells, reported NBC News.

The agency noted that the system, previously tested twice this year, will be rolled out to combat units between 2024 and 2026, replacing outdated weaponry, NBC News added, citing state media.

In recent months, North Korea has intensified its weapons testing, bolstering its military capabilities amid stagnant diplomacy with the United States and South Korea, the report said.

Experts suggest that Kim’s objective is to compel the United States to acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear power, leveraging this status to negotiate favorable economic and security terms from a position of strength.

In recent weeks, North Korea has emphasized its artillery systems, conducting salvo launches of 600-mm multiple rocket launchers in April, which state media portrayed as a simulated nuclear counterattack against enemy targets. 

Additionally, the country conducted various cruise missile tests and flight-tested a solid-fuel intermediate range missile with hypersonic warhead capabilities this year. Experts believe it is aimed at reaching distant U.S. targets in the Pacific, such as the military hub of Guam.

Following Friday’s test, Kim directed to ramp up production of the 240-mm multiple rocket launchers and their guided shells, foreseeing a “significant change” in his forces’ combat capabilities, as per the North Korean news agency. While North Korean artillery systems primarily target South Korea’s capital area, home to half of its 51 million population, South Korean military officials suspect recent tests aim to assess weapons for export to Russia. U.S. and South Korean officials have accused North Korea of supplying artillery shells, missiles, and other military gear to Russia for its operations in Ukraine. 

Kim has sought to bolster his ties with Moscow and Beijing in recent months to break diplomatic isolation and align against Washington, NBC News added.

Read Next: New Era In North Korea? Kim Jong Un Got Citizens To Pledge Loyalty Oath To Him For 40th Birthday

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo: Shutterstock

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: NewsPoliticsMarketsGeneralAI GeneratedKim Jong UnNorth KoreaRocket
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!