North Korea test-fired «railway-borne missile» on Sept. 15: KCNA
TOKYO. KAZINFORM North Korea tested a «railway-borne missile system» on Wednesday, the official Korean Central News Agency reported Thursday, a day after Japanese authorities said the nuclear-armed nation launched two ballistic missiles in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
The mission was to strike a target area 800 kilometers away in the sea off North Korea's east coast, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. Japan said the two missiles flew around 750 km before falling into the sea within its exclusive economic zone, in the first launches of ballistic missiles by North Korea since March, Kyodo reports.
Pak Jong Chon, a close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, observed the missile test, KCNA said. He was reportedly promoted to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea earlier this month.
«The railway-borne missile system serves as an efficient counter-strike means capable of dealing a harsh multi-concurrent blow to the threat-posing forces through separate performances of firepower duty in different parts of the country,» KCNA said.
The online edition of the Rodong Sinmun, the ruling party's newspaper, on Thursday ran photos of a missile fired from a railway.
Wednesday's test came after North Korea's state-run media said Monday that the nation over the weekend had tested a new long-range cruise missile capable of reaching Japan, where tens of thousands of U.S. troops are stationed.
Pyongyang's consecutive missile firings were apparently aimed at retaliating for South Korea's recent development of submarine-launched ballistic missiles to be deployed soon to challenge the North's military capabilities, some analysts said.
Kim may be also trying to attract attention from the United States by demonstrating the country's latest missile technologies, in an attempt to drag the administration of President Joe Biden to the negotiating table to discuss sanctions relief, they added.
North Korea has acknowledged that it has been facing a severe food crisis against a backdrop of natural disasters and sluggish trade activities with China, its closest and most influential ally in economic terms, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.