North Korea confirmed its recent test-firing of a ballistic missile was “successful”, the state-run news agency KCNA reported Tuesday, a day after the projectile landed in waters close to Japan.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “guided” the launch — the third missile test by the nuclear-armed regime in less than three weeks — which was carried out in defiance of UN sanctions warnings and US threats of possible military action.
“The ballistic rocket flew toward the east sky where the day broke and correctly hit a planned target point… after flying over the middle shooting range,” the report said.
South Korea’s military earlier said the Scud-type missile travelled eastward for 450 km (280 miles). Japan said it believed it had fallen into its exclusive economic zone, extending 200 nautical miles from the coast.
The missile test triggered swift condemnation from US President Donald Trump who said it showed “disrespect” for neighbouring China, the North’s sole major ally, which has sought to dampen tensions over Pyongyang’s weapons programme.
Several rounds of UN sanctions have done little to stop the isolated regime from pushing ahead with its ambition to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental US.