North Korea has confirmed that it launched missiles on Thursday and that they were a ‘new-type tactical guided projectile’.
The country’s Friday statement, issued through state media outlet KCNA, says the two weapons struck a test target 600km off North Korea’s east coast, disputing Japanese assessments that they flew just over 400km.
It added that the new missile is able to carry a payload of 2.5 tons, which would make it capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
“The development of this weapon system is of great significance in bolstering up the military power of the country and deterring all sorts of military threats,” Ri Pyong Chol, the senior leader who oversaw the test, was quoted as saying.
State media said it had an “improved version of a solid fuel engine” and described it as a tactical guided missile that could perform “gliding and pull-up” manoeuvres, which could mean it is harder to intercept.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was not present.
It was the country’s first ballistic launch in almost a year and the first since Joe Biden became US President.
Mr Biden has said the US will “respond accordingly”. The US, Japan and South Korea have condemned the tests.
Under UN Security Council resolutions, North Korea is banned from testing ballistic missiles.