North Korea says freshly-tested missile ready for deployment in action
North Korea says a medium-range ballistic missile it recently test-launched is ready for deployment in action.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Monday that the country’s leader Kim Jong-un had overseen the Sunday test-launch of the Pukguksong (Polaris)-2 ground-to-ground missile and “approved the deployment of this weapon system for action.”
KCNA quoted Kim as voicing his “great satisfaction” with the test and hailing its results as “perfect.”
He was further cited as describing the Pukguksong-2 as a “very accurate” missile and a “successful strategic weapon.”
KCNA said that the missile launch “completely verified” the reliability and accuracy of the device, and its late-stage warhead guidance system.
The Pukguksong-2 was first launched in February. It uses solid fuel that allows for immediate firing, unlike almost all of Pyongyang’s missiles, which are liquid-fuelled.
The second test-launch, on Sunday, was conducted near the county of Pukchang in North Korea’s South Phyongan Province. The missile flew eastward about 500 kilometers and reached an altitude of 560 kilometers, according to an official with South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was speaking on condition of anonymity.
Another official with South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Roh Jae-cheons said on Monday that Seoul and Washington believed North Korea secured “meaningful data in enhancing the credibility of its missile technology” by conducting the Sunday test.
North Korea regularly carries out missile tests. It has also conducted five nuclear tests. Last week, North Korea successfully launched a KN-17 medium-range missile.
The Sunday missile test was the 10th since US President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January.
Pyongyang, under an array of sanctions for its missile and nuclear programs, says it is developing arms as deterrence against US hostility. North Korea has further vowed that it would not abandon its missile and nuclear programs unless Washington ended its enmity toward Pyongyang.
Unsettled by North Korean missile and military nuclear programs, the United States has adopted a war-like posture against Pyongyang in recent weeks, sending a strike group to the Korean Peninsula and conducting joint military drills with North Korea’s regional adversaries Japan and South Korea.
The Trump administration has warned that military intervention in North Korea is an option being considered.
Last Monday, the United Nations Security Council demanded that Pyongyang conduct no further missile tests.
The council is scheduled to meet behind closed doors on Tuesday. The meeting has been requested by the US, South Korea, and Japan.