The missile can carry a nuclear warhead. The US, Japan and South Korea have condemned the launch.
North Korea on Sunday successfully launched another medium-range ballistic missile, confirming that its new rocket is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
The state-run news agency, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), confirmed on Monday the successful launch of the missile, Pukguksong-2, a land-based version of its submarine-launched missile, which uses a solid-fuel engine and is ready to be deployed.
“The supreme leader issued an order and oversaw the launch, expressing his satisfaction over the perfect launch,” KCNA reported, further adding that he “approved the deployment of this weapon system”.
Stressing on the importance of North Korea’s commitment to denuclearisation, South Korea called this launch “reckless” and “irresponsible” and noted the progress in the North’s missile programme.
Echoing the same thought, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called this launch a “disturbing” one.
North Korea has justified this launch, saying it is a response to the growing threat it felt from the South, the US and Japan.
South Korea’s military said the missile reached an altitude of 560 km, and landed in waters off the North Korean east coast and well away from Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the launch and said he wanted a “thorough discussion” of North Korea’s missile launches in the upcoming G7 meeting in Italy.
The launch came just one week after North Korea successfully launched another mid-range ballistic missile, Hwasong-12. Newly-elected South Korean president Moon Jae-in has immediately called for a National Security Council meeting owing to this launch.