North Korea on Thursday confirmed that it test-fired two long-range strategic cruise missiles toward the West Sea of Korea and successfully hit its targets on Wednesday.
According to the state-run media, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday guided the launch and praised his nuclear tactical unit for a successful test.
The long-range strategic cruise missiles flew for 10,234 seconds along an oval and pattern-8 flight orbit in the sky above the West Sea of Korea and clearly hit the target 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) away, Korean Central News Agency reported.
“The test-fire was aimed at further enhancing the combat efficiency and might of the long-range strategic cruise missiles deployed at the units of the Korean People’s Army for the operation of tactical nukes and reconfirming the reliability and technical safety of the overall operational application system,” it said.
Kim said that the launch of long-range strategic cruise missiles proved again their full preparedness for actual war to bring the enemies under their control.
“The test-fire is our another clear warning to the enemies and the practical verification and clear demonstration of the absolute reliability and combat capacity of our state’s war deterrent,” Kim said.
He ordered forces to continue the expansion of the operational sphere of the nuclear strategic armed forces and be ready for any crucial military crisis and war crisis at any time.
“To steadily bolster up the national defense capabilities is our consistent and invariable revolutionary policy and keynote of struggle which can never be delayed and should neither be postponed in order to defend the dignity and sovereignty of the country and its right to existence,” the agency quoted Kim as saying.
North Korea fired several missiles last week during three launches, some of which flew over Japanese land.
Pyongyang has defended the missile tests as “planned” action against a direct military threat.
It said its recent missile tests were part of its two-week-long “tactical nuclear” drills to simulate hitting South Korea with nuclear weapons.
Pyongyang said the drills were aimed to check and assess the war deterrent and nuclear counterattack capability of the country and also confirmed the recent missiles launches, including a new-type ground-to-ground intermediate-range ballistic missile, which flew above Japan and fell into the East Sea last week.