North Korea confirms 'successful' missile test

North Korea confirms it test fired a medium long-range Pukguksong-2 missile.

Ben Ariel ,

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches ballistic missile launch (archive)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches ballistic missile launch (archive)

North Korea confirmed on Monday (local time) that it had "successfully" tested a ballistic missile, AFP reported, citing the state-run news agency KCNA.

"A surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2... was successfully test-fired on Sunday," the report said.

The missile was launched from Banghyon air base in the western province of North Pyongan, and flew east towards the Sea of Japan.

South Korean media and the South Korean military initially reported on Saturday night (U.S. time) that the North had carried out the missile test.

The test was later confirmed by the United States military, which said it detected a missile test by North Korea and was assessing the launch.

A White House official said that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the missile launched by North Korea, and the White House is continuing to monitor the situation.

North Korea tried to launch a Musudan eight times last year but most of those attempts failed. It did, however, carried out two nuclear tests last year, in defiance of UN sanctions.

The latest test came a month after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that the country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). State media later said such a launch could come “at any time”.

The missile launched in the latest test, however, did not appear to be an ICBM.

Following the test, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to work together in the face of North Korea’s provocations.

"The United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent," Trump said at a joint press conference with Abe in Florida.

"We will work together to promote our shared interests, of which we have many, in the region, including freedom from navigation and of navigation and defending against the North Korean missile and nuclear threat, both of which I consider a very, very high priority."

Abe said the launch was "absolutely unacceptable" and called on North Korea to "fully comply" with UN Security Council resolutions.