North Korea on Tuesday said that it tested two tactical guided missiles a day earlier, its fourth missile test this month, state-run media reported.
The missiles launched from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's western area "accurately hit an island target in the East Sea of Korea," a defense official said in a statement published by the Korean Central News Agency.
It said the aim of the tests was to examine weapons and confirm their correctness, safety, and operational effectiveness.
"A test-fire for evaluating tactical guided missiles was carried out on January 17 according to the plan of the institutions concerned, including the Academy of Defence Science and the Second Economic Commission," it added.
On Monday, the South Korean military said it had detected two suspected short-range ballistic missiles fired by Pyongyang.
North Korea conducted the latest missiles test just three days after announcing the testing of two tactical guided missiles from railcars.
Last Wednesday, the country said it had “successfully” conducted the final test-firing of a newly developed hypersonic missile.
Hypersonic missiles usually travel at five times the speed of sound, or 6,125 kilometers (3,806 miles) per hour, giving enemies little time to respond.
Following the test, the US sanctioned five people affiliated with North Korea's missile programs.
A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang said that the US sanctions are “clearly a provocation” and criticized Washington for “aggravating the situation intentionally.”
The US’ “gangster logic…questions the exercise of our legitimate right to self-defense,” said a statement carried by the state-run news service.
The official said the country's push for a “new-type weapon” is only to enhance its “national defense capability, not for aiming at a specific country or force.”
The statement warned of “a stronger and clearer response” if the US continues with its “attitude of confrontation.”
* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid