N.Korea says it test-fired controllable shells for rocket launcher system

North Korea says its leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test-firing of controllable shells for an updated version of a 240-millimeter multiple rocket launcher system on Friday.

North Korea's ruling Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported on Saturday that the launcher has an automatic fire combined control system. It added that all eight fired shells hit their targets.

The paper also said the system will be deployed to units of the country's army from this year to 2026.

The shells were reportedly developed by a new national defense industrial enterprise set up under the Second Economy Commission responsible for the country's munitions exports.

The paper said Kim discussed ways to further accelerate national defense economic work, calling for production of the shells to be raised to the highest level.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said last year that the term "national defense economic work" could be a reference to arms exports.

The country's Yonhap News Agency quoted observers as saying Pyongyang may be aiming to gain economic benefits through exports to Russia, which continues its military invasion of Ukraine.