Pyongyang: A day after North Korea fired unidentified short-range projectiles into the East Sea, their leader Kim Jong-un supervised the “strike drill” of defence units to test their performance, state media reported.
“The purpose of the drill was to estimate and inspect the operating ability and the accuracy of striking duty performance of large-calibre long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons by defence units in the frontline area and on the eastern front,” said state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
North Korea on Saturday fired several unidentified short-range projectiles from its eastern coastal town of Wonsan into the East Sea. They flew about 70 kilometres to 200 kilometres, reported Yonhap News agency.
Despite this, United States President Donald Trump reaffirmed confidence in the North Korean leader, saying that “he won’t break his promise.”
“Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, and will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him and does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!” Trump tweeted.
Saturday’s weapons tests were the most serious by the Asian country since it launched the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missiles in November 2017, The New York Times reported.
South Korean officials said the “short-range” projectiles flew only 42 to 124 miles off the North’s east coast, ruling out the possibility that the country had resumed tests of intermediate- or intercontinental-range ballistic missiles.
The launch of the short-range missile comes at a time when denuclearisation talks between the US and North Korea are yet to see progress following the abrupt fallout of the Hanoi summit.
Ties between the US and North Korea have hit a roadblock over the ease of sanctions, where Pyongyang sought relief as a recognition of the steps taken towards denuclearisation.
No joint statement was released following the talks, as it is reported that the two countries could not resolve their differences on sanction waivers.
Washington has, until now, reinforced that relief in sanctions would only be given after Pyongyang carries out “complete and verifiable” denuclearisation.