The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has confirmed that it test-fired two tactical guided missiles on 17 January.

State-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on 18 January that the test-firings were carried out as part of a plan by the “Academy of Defence Science, the Second Economy Commission and other institutions”.

It was intended to “selectively evaluate tactical guided missiles being produced and deployed” and to assess the accuracy of the weapons.

The missiles were launched from the western area of North Korea. This latest firing is the fourth missile test carried out by North Korea this month.

The news agency also said that “the Academy of Defence Science confirmed the accuracy, security and efficiency of the operation of the weapon system under production”.

The North Korean launches were detected by both Japan and South Korea.

Condemning the firings, Japan chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said: “We strongly condemn the series of North Korean actions, including the repeated launches of ballistic missiles, that threaten the peace and security of Japan and the region, and the international community.”

Earlier this year, North Korea reportedly test-fired a hypersonic missile.

Last week, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions on five DPRK individuals.

According to OFAC, the targeted individuals are said to be involved in supporting the DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile-related programmes.