The latest tests of intermediate-range ballistic missiles were successful and proved that North Korea has a “sure capability” to strike US “interests” in the Pacific region, state news agency KCNA reports.
The announcement follows two test-launches on Wednesday of what was presumed to be Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missiles (also known as Hwasong-10), at least one of which the US and South Korean militaries considered a “failure.”
“The test-fire was successfully conducted without giving any slightest effect to the security of surrounding countries,” KCNA said, adding that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was supervising the test.
“The current test-fire marked an important occasion in further strengthening the nuclear attack capacity of our state,” Kim said, as cited by Yonhap. “We have the sure capability to attack in an overall and practical way the Americans in the Pacific operation theatre.”
The first missile launch on Wednesday is widely believed to be unsuccessful, according to US and South Korean media citing military sources. However, the second attempt indicated that Pyongyang might have fixed some of the problems with Musudan, as the rocket reportedly flew some 400km, reaching an altitude of up to 1,000km.
Pyongyang’s ballistic missile tests worry Washington, as well as its allies Tokyo and Seoul, because much of the region, including US military interests, are within reach of Musudan’s potential 3,500km range.
The US, Japan and South Korea condemned the tests as provocative and urged international community to address Pyongyang’s behavior. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the latest tests an “irresponsible act” and a “grave violation” of North Korea’s international obligations and UNSC resolutions, according to deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.
Source: Daily News