North Korea said on Thursday it successfully launched ballistic missiles from a train for the first time and was continuing to bolster its defenses, according to The Associated Press.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said the missiles were launched during a drill of a “railway-borne missile regiment” that transported the weapons system along rail tracks in the country’s mountainous central region and accurately struck a sea target 800 kilometers away.
State media showed what appeared to be two different missiles streaking up from rail-car launchers engulfed in orange flames along tracks surrounded by dense forest.
A rail-based ballistic system reflects North Korea’s efforts to diversify its launch options, which now include various vehicles and ground launch pads and may eventually include submarines.
The latest move follows two tests of ballistic missiles that North Korea carried out in recent days.
North Korea, which has conducted many missile tests in recent years, restarted those tests after denuclearization talks with the United States came to a halt.
Former US President Donald Trump tried to reach an agreement with North Korea while in office. Kim and Trump met in Hanoi in 2019 for a summit that left nuclear talks at a standstill.
The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.
The new Biden administration reached out to North Korea but the country did not respond to those overtures.
In Biden’s first policy speech to Congress, he said nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran posed threats that would be addressed through “diplomacy and stern deterrence”.
Responding to that speech, North Korea dismissed the idea of talks with Washington, saying Biden’s speech was “intolerable” and “a big blunder.”
Following the North’s first test this week, the United States said it still remains prepared to engage with North Korea on denuclearization.