N Korea claims successful test-launch

N Korea claims successful test-launch of ballistic missiles

Pyongyang, June 23 (IANS) North Korea on Thursday announced the launch of medium-range missiles on Wednesday was a success and it considered this a necessary weapon to increase the country’s capacity when carrying out a “pre-emptive nuclear attack”.

Pyongyang launched two missiles from its eastern coast into the sea on Wednesday, the second of them appeared to function with relative success, EFE news reported.

“The test-firing was successfully conducted without having any slightest effect to the security of surrounding countries,” North Korea’s state-run news agency KCNA said in a statement.

The statement confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was present for the test-fire of the medium long-range strategic ballistic missile named Hwasong-10.

According to KCNA, Kim considered that the missile is “needed to increase in a sustained way our preemptive nuclear attack capability and continue the study and development of diverse strategic attack weapons.”

“The current test-fire marked an important occasion in further strengthening the nuclear attack capacity of our state,” the statement quoted the leader as saying.

Wednesday’s tests were the fifth and sixth time that North Korea test-fired Musudan missiles since April.

The first missile launched is believed to have malfunctioned, like the previous four failed attempts.

However, according to the South Korean government, the second missile covered a range of 400 km and soared to an altitude of 1,000 km. At present, experts consider the launch a relative success.

The Musudan missile poses a new threat to the region as it is the first North Korean medium-range missile which can be fired from a mobile launcher, making it more difficult to detect.

With its potential 4,000 km range, the missile could reach US military bases in Okinawa, Japan or Guam.

US, South Korea and Japan have condemned these latest launches, while China has urged the parties for dialogue.

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