Seoul, Jan 31 (EFE).- North Korea Monday announced that it test-fired a mid-range ballistic missile a day ago, the first time since 2017 that the reclusive state has launched a weapon of that reach.
The test confirmed the accuracy, safety, and effectiveness of the ground-to-ground mid-range long-range ballistic missile Hwasong-12, said KCNA, the North Korean state-run news agency.
It was the seventh weapons test by North Korea in the first month of the New Year.
“The evaluation test-fire of Hwasong 12-type ground-to-ground intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile was conducted Sunday under a plan of the Academy of Defense Science, the Second Economy Commission and other institutions concerned,” the KCNA said.
The news agency said the test was to selectively inspect the ground-to-ground mid-range long-range ballistic missile Hwasong-12 and verify the overall accuracy of the weapon system.
“It confirmed the accuracy, security and effectiveness of the operation of the Hwasong 12-type weapon system under production.”
Neighbors Japan and South Korea detected the launch of the suspected intermediate-range ballistic missile Sunday morning.
The test violates United Nations resolutions.
South Korea warned that the seventh weapons test by the North this month could lead to the resumed testing of long-range weapons in the region.
The South Korean military detected the launch from the northern province of Jagang, bordering China.
The North had also launched an alleged “hypersonic” missile last September and on Jan.5 and 11 this year.
The missile on Sunday traveled 800 km east towards the Sea of Japan, called the East Sea in the two Koreas.
The Japanese government estimated that the missile could have gained a maximum altitude of 2,000 km without entering the exclusive economic zone.
The North previously tested the Hwasong-12 missile in September 2017.
The launch on Sunday represents the longest-range weapons test by the North Korean regime since November 2017, when it launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The medium-range ballistic missile test has reinforced fears that North Korea might end the moratorium on intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear tests.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the weapons test.
The US military has urged Pyongyang to refrain from “destabilizing” acts.
It was the seventh weapons test by the regime this year.
The North Korean military tested cruise missiles, short-range missiles, and alleged hypersonic missiles after leader Kim Jong-un began the New Year with a message calling for reform of the country’s defense capabilities.