Seoul, March 30 (IANS) North Korea has tested “super-large” multiple rocket launchers, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Monday, a day after South Korea’s military said the country fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles.

The South Korean military said on Sunday that the missiles were fired from the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, flying 230 km with a maximum altitude of 30 km, reports the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency.

The launches marked the latest in a series of weapons tests or artillery firing drills the North has conducted this year.

In its report on Monday, Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that Sunday’s test was designed “to verify once again the tactical and technological specifications of the launch system to be delivered to units of the Korean People’s Army”.

“The test-fire was conducted successfully,” it added.

The KCNA did not mention whether leader Kim Jong-un had observed the launch, nor did it elaborate on other details on the weapon and place where the test was conducted.

North Korea has carried out a series of weapons tests and artillery firing exercises this year.

Except for small artillery firing drills, Sunday’s launch marked the North’s fourth major weapons test this month, with Kim attending all of the previous three tests.

It also came about a week after the North test-fired two short-range ballistic missiles.

The latest test was guided by Ri Pyong-chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, Yonhap News Agency quoted the KCNA as saying in the report.

“The operational deployment of the weapon system of super-large multiple rocket launchers is a crucial work of very great significance in realizing a new strategic intention of the Party Central Committee for national defence,” Ri was quoted as saying in the report.

Following the North’s latest weapons test, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it was “very inappropriate” to carry out weapons tests as the world is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic and called for Pyongyang’s immediate halt to such acts.

The US State Department urged Pyongyang to avoid provocations and return to the negotiating table.




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