North Korea fired a railway-borne missile in firing drills on Friday, official media KCNA said on Saturday, amid a drive by the United States for further sanctions against the isolated state in response to its recent run of weapons tests.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff stated two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) fired eastward on North Korea’s northwest coast traveled around 430 km (267 miles) to a maximum height of 36 km (22 miles).
The range and trajectory of the missiles were not specified by the official KCNA news agency, but a shooting practice was staged in North Pyongan Province to “check and appraise the competency in the action procedures of the railway-borne unit.”
The country tested the rail-based system for the first time last September, saying it was designed as a potential counter-strike to any threatening forces.
Since New Year’s Day, North Korea has launched three ballistic missiles in an unusually fast sequence of weapons tests. The previous two launches involved what state media called “hypersonic missiles” capable of high speeds and manoeuvring after launch.
Hours before the latest test drill, North Korea slammed the United States for pursuing new sanctions in response to its recent missile launches, calling it a “provocation” and warning of a strong reaction.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration imposed its first sanctions against Pyongyang on Wednesday, and called on the U.N. Security Council to blacklist several North Korean individuals and entities.