North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test of a new ballistic missile controlled by a precision guidance system and ordered the development of more powerful strategic weapons, the North’s official KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday.
The missile was equipped with an advanced automated pre-launch sequence compared to previous versions of the “Hwasong” rockets, KCNA said, indicating the North had launched a modified Scud-class missile, as South Korea’s military said on Monday.
North Korea test launched a short-range ballistic missile on Monday that landed in the sea off its east coast, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying world pressure and threats of more sanctions.
Since early last year, the North has been on a quick succession of missile-related activities, claiming major advances that outside experts and officials believe may be at least partially true but are difficult to verify independently.
Hwasong, or Mars, in Korean, is the North’s name for its Scud-class ballistic missiles.
The North’s official media routinely report on missile launches on the following day.
The test was aimed at verifying a new type of precision guidance system and the reliability of a new mobile launch vehicle under different operational conditions, KCNA said.
“Whenever news of our valuable victory is broadcast recently, the Yankees would be very much worried about it and the gangsters of the South Korean puppet army would be dispirited more and more,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
“He expressed the conviction that it would make a greater leap forward in this spirit to send bigger ‘gift package’ to the Yankees” in retaliation for American military provocation, KCNA said.
US President Donald Trump, in a post on Twitter, portrayed the missile test as an affront to China. “North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile … but China is trying hard!” he wrote.