WASHINGTON — Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is confirming that North Korea conducted a test launch on Wednesday, but he declined to provide any details.
He is the first U.S. official to confirm the launch. He tells reporters at the Pentagon that North Korea conducted a test, but it didn't involve a ballistic weapon and didn't trigger any change in U.S. military operations.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observed the successful test of “a newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon,” the nation’s state media reported Friday, though it didn’t describe what sort of weapon it was.
North Korea has said it test-fired a new type of tactical guided weapon. The test didn't appear to be of a banned mid- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle ongoing nuclear negotiations.
Pyongyang also is demanding that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations. The State Department says it’s aware of the report and the U.S. remains ready to engage North Korea in constructive negotiations.
Satellite photos showing new activity at a North Korean rocket launch site raised fresh doubts Wednesday that Kim Jong Un will ever give up his drive for nuclear weapons, yet talks continue and President Donald Trump said he was still hoping for the agreement that eluded the leaders at last week’s summit.