Addis Ababa, March 26, 2021 (Walta) – North Korea has claimed the missiles it launched Thursday were a “new-type tactical guided projectile”, in its first statement since the test.
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.
The country’s Friday statement, issued through state media outlet KCNA, says the two weapons struck a test target 600km (373 miles) 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.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was not present, BBC reports.