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North Korea test-fires railway-borne missile with range of 800 km

The US has condemned ballistic missile launches by North Korea, calling on Pyongyang to engage in meaningful dialogue with Washington.

IANS | Pyongyang |

North Korea has launched a railway-borne missile with a mission to strike the target area 800 km away, the state media reported on Thursday.

“The test-firing drill took place for the purpose of confirming the practicality of the railway-borne missile system deployed for action for the first time, of judging the combat readiness and capability of performing firepower duty of the newly-organized regiment all of a sudden and of attaining proficiency in the action procedures in case of fighting an actual war,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report.

Pak Jong Chon, a member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, guided the test firing drill of the missile regiment on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the KCNA report.

Pak said the railway-borne missile system serves as an efficient counter-strike means capable of dealing a harsh multi-concurrent blow to the threat-posing forces through separate performances of firepower duty in different parts of the country.

Wednesday’s launch comes only days after North Korea, as it said, successfully tested a new type of long-range cruise missiles, which was also attended by Pak.

The US has condemned ballistic missile launches by North Korea, calling on Pyongyang to engage in meaningful dialogue with Washington.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday that the US condemns the North Korea missile launches, Xinhua news agency reported. He noted, “these missile launches are in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions … they pose a threat to North Korea’s neighbors and other members of the international community.”

In the meantime, Price said Washington is still committed to a diplomatic approach to Pyongyang to pursue the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. “We call on North Korea to engage in a meaningful and substantive dialogue with us,” he added. “We’ve been very clear in the messages that we have conveyed to North Korea that we stand ready to engage in that dialogue.”

Price also reaffirmed that U.S. commitment to regional allies is ironclad.

The Biden administration has repeatedly suggested that it seeks to engage with Pyongyang over the denuclearisation issue but showed no willingness to ease sanctions.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Wednesday that North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into eastern waters.

The missile launch came two days after Pyongyang said it successfully test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missiles on Saturday and Sunday.

Also on Wednesday, the presidential Blue House said that South Korea successfully test-fired a homegrown submarine-launched ballistic missile.