In its 11th missile test launch this year – which is the second test in just one week, North Korea deployed a medium-range ballistics missile (MRBM) Pukkuksong-2 over the weekend, which the country is touting as yet another success, according to reports.
The MRBM launched on Sunday from Pukchang county in South Pyongan province and landed in the Sea of Japan, going about 500 kilometers (or approximately 310 miles), according to reports. This is the second launch of a North Korean ballistics missile since South Korean President Moon Jae-in was inaugurated.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch of the solid-fuel missile and reportedly said it was a “success,” according to Al Jazeera, “[approving] the deployment of this weapon system for action” and reportedly saying it should “be rapidly mass-produced.”
The U.S., South Korea and Japan requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which is slated for Tuesday.
The KCNA reported that this test examined the missile’s “adaptability under various battle conditions,” Al Jazeera reported.
While reports out of Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, could be considered propaganda, the reports should also be investigated and monitored until proven otherwise.
Pyongyang has continued to expand and test its nuclear and missile programs, citing American aggression as the reason for the weapons. “It’s often-stated goal is to perfect a nuclear warhead that it can put on a missile capable of hitting Washington and other U.S. cities,” Al Jazeera reported.
A week prior, North Korea launched the Hwasong-12 medium-range ballistic missile, which flew for about 30 minutes and approximately 430 miles.
The KCNA said that missile was a “new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket” and that it is “capable of carrying a large, heavy nuclear warhead,” American Military News previously reported.
This most recent launch is the eighth flight test of a missile from the Pukkuksong family of missiles, a program began with the Pukkuksong-1 submarine-launched ballistic missile, according to The Diplomat.
In recent weeks, the Trump administration has accused U.N. Security Council members for not enforcing existing sanctions against North Korea, which the administration says emboldens North Korea as it marches, determined to acquire missiles capable of reaching the United States.
President Donald Trump has been vocal about resolving the North Korean issue through military action or diplomacy.
Surprising some, the President has even expressed a willingness to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – but only if conditions were right.