SecDef: North Korea Weapons Test ‘Not a Ballistic Missile’

Offers few details after North Korea's own announcement

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan addressed reporters on Thursday, following North Korean state media’s Wednesday report that they had tested a new “tactical” weapon.

Shanahan roughly echoed what North Korea’s state media had already said, that there was “a test” and providing no details, beyond it not changing the official US posture on the matter.

Shanahan’s only addition to the narrative was that it was “not a ballistic missile.” The North Korean statement was that it was a tactical, and therefore short range, missile, which led to such an assumption.

North Korea had also said it had an unusual form of guidance system, but analysts have said it could be virtually anything from a rocket or missile or some strange sort of mortar.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of