North Korea said Thursday that a railway-borne missile regiment held a firing drill each day earlier, confirming the launches, apparently from a train, of two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
“The railway-borne missile regiment took part within the drill with a mission to strike the target 800 kilometers far away from its location after moving to the central mountainous area at dawn on September 15,” the official Korean Central news agency (KCNA) said.
The KCNA said the North accurately struck the target within the East Sea.
The missiles seemed to are launched from a train instead of a transporter erector launcher (TEL), according to photos released by state media.
The launches came just days after the North tested a newly developed long-range cruise missile.
The KCNA said that the drills were organized to “increase the potential of dealing an intensive multi-concurrent blow at the forces posing threats to us at a time of conducting necessary military operations.”
The test-firing was also conducted to verify the “practicality of the railway-borne missile system deployed for action for the primary time” to gauge combat readiness and to “attain proficiency just in case of fighting an actual war.”
Pak Jong-chon, a member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the ruling Workers’ Party, guided the newest drills, alongside other top officials. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un didn’t oversee the test-firing.
“(Pak) said that the deployment of the railway-borne missile system for action in accordance with the road and policies on modernizing the military set forth at the eighth Congress of our Party holds very great significance in increasing the war deterrence of the country,” the KCNA said.
Under the UN Security Council resolutions, North Korea is banned from missile activity.
The latest test is that the second missile launch by the North thus far this year, and its fifth known major weapons test if the aircraft tests are taken into account.