Lovely day for missile watching: Kim Jong-un grins with delight at test launch of North Korea's new warheads
- Kim Jong-un pictured smiling as he watches launch of new guided missile
- Dictator said to have been satisfied with test as he watched with deputies
- South Korea claims three 'projectiles' have been fired towards its waters
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has been pictured smiling with delight as he witnessed the test launch of new 'cutting edge' precision guided missiles.
State media claims its army has tested 'ultra-precision tactical guided missiles' - and Kim seemed satisfied as he watched the launch with top deputies.
The image emerged a day after claims from South Korea that three short-range projectiles had been fired from the North towards its waters.
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un smiles with delight as he observes the test-fire of a newly developed tactical guided missile at a secret location
Officials in the South say they were fired from an eastern port city on Thursday and flew around 190km before harmlessly landing into the waters off its east coast.
The North has yet to say when the latest launches took place or how many missiles were fired.
And there is no independent confirmation that North Korea has developed such high-tech missiles having frequently bluffed and exaggerated about its military capability in the past.
But the impoverished nation devotes much of its scarce resources to its missile and nuclear programs.
Outside analysts say North Korea has developed a handful of crude nuclear devices and is working toward building a warhead small enough to mount on a long-range missile, although most experts say that goal may take years to achieve.
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said that North Korea has been trying to upgrade its large-caliber multiple rocket launch systems in recent years and that the range of the weapons has been gradually increased in each test-launch.
North Korean media has called the latest missile launches 'significant' because they were made at a time when it is bolstering its national defense blaming U.S. and South Korea for being 'extremely reckless in the moves to isolate and stifle (North Korea) and unleash a war of aggression.'
Youngsters play beside South Korea's Hawk missiles on display at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea. The South has claimed that their neighbours fired three projectiles towards its waters on Thursday
Short-range test firings by North Korea aren't unusual, but a barrage of missile and artillery tests earlier this year boosted tension between the neighbouring countries.
A North Korean artillery attack in 2010 killed four South Koreans on a front-line Yellow Sea island.
North Korea has in recent months threatened South Korea's president, calling her a prostitute, and the South has vowed to hit back hard if provoked.
North Korea's rising anger coincided with annual joint military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea and a visit to Seoul by President Barack Obama.
North Korea also test-fired two medium-range ballistic missiles and exchanged artillery fire with South Korea near a disputed boundary in the Yellow Sea.
Both Koreas routinely conduct artillery drills near the maritime boundary, a scene of several bloody skirmishes in recent years.
The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.