North Korea has reportedly conducted a ‘crucial test’ a day after the US tested a prototype ground-launched ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The test was carried out at North Korea’s Sohae satellite launch site on 13 December.
Although the nature of the test remains unknown, it was aimed at strengthening the country’s strategic nuclear deterrent.
The test was the second performed by Pyongyang at the Sohae site in less than a week.
North Korea Chief of the General Staff Pak Jong Chon was quoted by state news agency KCNA as saying: “The priceless data, experience and new technologies gained in the recent tests of defence science research will be fully applied to the development of another strategic weapon of the DPRK for definitely and reliably restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the US.”
North Korea conducted a series of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) flight tests in 2017, which resulted in a standoff with the US Government.
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According to resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council, Pyongyang is barred from firing ballistic missiles.
The latest test came a day before US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun’s visit to Seoul for a three-day visit.
In response, the US stated that it is ‘coordinating closely with our Korean and Japanese allies’.
North Korea and the US stalled talks regarding the denuclearisation. The US Government is not in favour of revoking the sanctions on North Korea until it completely puts off its nuclear ambitions.
On 12 December, the US Air Force conducted a flight test of a prototype conventional ballistic missile that was previously banned under the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty.