North Korea says it's ready to deploy and start mass-producing a new medium-range missile capable of reaching Japan and major US military bases there following a test launch it claims confirmed the missile's combat readiness and is an "answer" to President Trump's policies. The solid-fuel Pukguksong-2 missile flew about 310 miles and reached a height of 350 miles Sunday before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. North Korea's media said more missiles will be launched in the future, the AP reports. Trump, traveling in Saudi Arabia, had no immediate public comment. Kim Jong Un ordered the launch and watched from an observation post, state media reported Monday.
The Korea Central News Agency said the test verified technical aspects of the weapon system and examined its "adaptability under various battle conditions" before it's deployed to military units. Kim reportedly said the launch was a success, "approved the deployment of this weapon system for action," and said that it should "be rapidly mass-produced." Viewing images sent from the rocket, Kim noted, "It feels grand to look at the Earth from the rocket we launched," KCNA said, via Reuters. The North's Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary Sunday that in Pyongyang's "answer to the Trump administration," many more missiles "capable of striking the US will be launched from this land." (Read more North Korea stories.)