N. Korea's ballistic missiles fired on Wednesday were launched from train: KCNA
Updated: 2021-09-16 17:00:36 KST
North Korea confirmed the ballistic missiles it fired on Wednesday were launched from a train.
The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Thursday that the regime's railway-borne missile regiment handled the drill.
Their mission was to strike a target area 800 kilometers away from their location after moving to the central mountainous area in the early hours of the morning.
It reported that a member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the ruling Workers' Party, Pak Jong-chon , was in charge of the regiment's training and personally oversaw the launch.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wasn't there.
As part of North Korea's comprehensive five-year weapons and science development program, the railway-borne missile regiment was established after it was first mentioned at the eighth ruling Workers' Party Congress in January.
It's aimed at enhancing North Korea's ability to prepare against simultaneous external threats.
The report said it was the first time the railway-borne missile system was used for combat training to confirm its practical use.
Via photos released by the North, the missiles are confirmed to be a modified version of the KN-23 Iskander-class ballistic missile that was fired on March 25th.
Such Iskander-class ballistic missiles are harder to intercept than other missiles due to their so-called pull-up maneuver - the ability to shoot upwards dramatically during the final stages of descent making it harder to predict their flight trajectory.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missiles were fired at 12:34 and 12:39pm, Korea time, from Yangduk , Pyeongannam-do Province.
The missiles flew around 800 kilometers, reaching an altitude of some 60 kilometers.
They were fired just two days after North Korea reported its launching of long-range cruise missiles into the East Sea.
"There was no special movement in North Korea to elaborate on so far. South Korea and the U.S. are working closely together on analyzing the short-range ballistic missiles fired on Wednesday, including the missile type and specific features. The South Korean military believe North Korea continues to develop various missiles' transport erector systems."
The series of launches are speculated to be part of a plan to help the regime gain the upper hand in future negotiations with the U.S. or South Korea.
Wednesday's missile launch was the fifth provocation by North Korea so far this year.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.