North Korea said on Sunday a submarine-launched ballistic missile test it conducted under the supervision of leader Kim Jong-un had been a “great success” that provided “one more means for powerful nuclear attack”.
The launch is the latest in a recent string of North Korean demonstrations of military might that began in January with its fourth nuclear test and included the launch of a long-range rocket the next month, Reuters reports.
The tests have increased tension on the Korean peninsula, angered ally China and triggered new UN sanctions, the news agency said.
Analysts say the tests could be part of a bid by Kim to bolster his position in the run-up to a rare ruling party congress in May.
Concern has been growing that North Korea could soon conduct another nuclear test.
North Korea fired the missile from a submarine off its east coast on Saturday and it flew for about 30 kilometers (18 miles), a South Korean Defense Ministry official said late on Saturday.
South Korea was trying to determine whether the launch may have been a failure, for unspecified reasons, the official said.
The North’s official news agency KCNA said the test-firing was “another great success”, without disclosing the date and place of the launch, which it said was guided by leader Kim.
“The successful test-fire would help remarkably bolster the underwater operational capability of the KPA navy, he said, adding that it is now capable of hitting the heads of the South Korean puppet forces and the US imperialists any time as it pleases,” the KCNA said, citing Kim. KPA refers to the North’s military.
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