North Korea fired two short-range missiles from a train on Friday, state media reported Saturday, in its third weapons test since the beginning of the year despite new US sanctions.
The North’s official news agency said the tests were carried out “to verify and evaluate control over the railway regiment’s working procedures.”
Friday’s launch came after Washington’s decision on Wednesday to impose new financial sanctions on five North Koreans following previous missile tests of missiles presented as hypersonic.
The Korean Central News Agency said that the missile launch, which took place on Friday, “showed high maneuverability and a high success rate.” The agency added that talks were held on “establishing a railway missile operating system throughout the country.”
The chiefs of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the two launches took place at 1441 and 14:52 local time (5.41 and 5.52 GMT) and that the two missiles traveled 432 km at an altitude of 36 km towards the east of the Korean Peninsula.
This was North Korea’s third weapons test this month, after two successful hypersonic missile tests, according to Pyongyang, the first on January 5 and the second under the supervision of leader Kim Jong Un personally on January 11.
In response, the United States imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang this week, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said North Korea was likely trying to “get attention” with a series of missile launches.
Pyongyang accused the United States of “deliberately” aggravating the situation. Dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington is still deadlocked after talks between Kim and former US President Donald Trump failed in 2019.
North Korea test-fired a missile from a train for the first time in September 2021.