North Korea said Thursday that a rail-mounted missile unit conducted a missile launch exercise the previous day, confirming what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles launched from a train into the East Sea.
“The rail-borne missile unit participated in the exercises with a mission to hit the target area 800 kilometers from its location after moving to the central mountainous region at dawn on September 15,” the official Korean Central News Agency said.
The Korean Central News Agency stated that North Korea accurately hit the target in the East Sea.
According to photos published by state media, it appears that the missiles were launched from a train and not from a tanker launch pad.
The launches came just days after North Korea tested a newly developed long-range cruise missile.
The agency said the exercises were conducted “to increase the ability to deliver an intense and simultaneous strike to forces that pose threats to us at the time of the necessary military operations.”
The missile launch test was also conducted to confirm the “practical application of a rail-borne missile system first deployed to work” to judge combat readiness and “efficiency in the event of actual war”.
Pak Jong-chun, a member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the ruling Workers’ Party, led the recent exercises with other senior officials. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not supervise the missile test.
“The deployment of the rail-portable missile system to operate in accordance with the army modernization line and policies stipulated at the Eighth Party Congress is of great significance in increasing the country’s war deterrence,” Park was quoted by the Korean Central News Agency as saying.
Under UN Security Council resolutions, North Korea has been banned from ballistic missile activity.
The latest test is the second launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea so far this year, and the fifth major known weapons test if cruise missile tests are taken into account.
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