Pyongyang, May 5 (IANS) North Korea has confirmed via state media that its leader Kim Jong-un has overseen a “strike drill” testing various missile components.
“A number of short-range projectiles” were also fired from the Hodo peninsula into the Sea of Japan on Saturday.
North Korea’s leader gave the order of firing to “increase the combat ability” of the country, the announcement said, BBC reported on Sunday.
US President Donald Trump tweeted he believed Kim would not jeopardise the path towards better relations.
He added that the North Korean leader “knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!
“I believe that Kim Jong-Un fully realises the great economic potential of North Korea and will do nothing to interfere or end it,” Trump posted on social media on Saturday.
President Trump walked away from what he described as a bad deal offered by Kim Jong-un at a summit meeting in Hanoi in February.
In its report on Sunday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) Kim had stressed the need to “defend the political sovereignty and economic self-sustenance” of the country in the face of threat and invasion.
The aim of the drill, which was testing “large-calibre long-range multiple rocket launchers”, was to “inspect the operating ability and the accuracy of striking duty performance,” the report said.
The North Korean president told troops to bear in mind “the iron truth that genuine peace and security are ensured and guaranteed only by powerful strength”.
It is believed that Saturday’s test is intended to increase pressure on Washington to move nuclear talks forward.
Last month, North Korea said it had tested what it described as a new “tactical guided weapon”.
That was the first test since the Hanoi summit.
If confirmed that missiles were launched on Saturday, this would be the most serious test since North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017.
Firing a short-range missile would not violate North Korea’s promise not to test long-range or nuclear missiles.