North Korea says it conducted 'demonstration firing of super-large artillery'

North Korea says it has conducted a demonstration firing involving super-large multiple rocket launchers. The announcement comes a day after the country reportedly launched ballistic missiles.

North Korea's ruling Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, reported this on Friday. It says the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, supervised the firing of the 600- millimeter rocket artillery.

A photo shows 18 missiles being fired simultaneously from mobile launchers.

The report says artillerymen hit an island target 365 kilometers away. South Korean media say a major air base in the South would be within the missiles' range.

The North claims that the missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It says the demonstration was conducted to show the country will not to hesitate to carry out a preemptive attack against South Korea.

Kim reportedly said his country's nuclear forces should be more thoroughly prepared to promptly and correctly perform the important mission of deterring a war and taking the initiative in the war.

The South Korean military said the North launched more than 10 projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles from the Sunan area near Pyongyang on Thursday.

The US Department of State said in a statement on Thursday that the United States condemns North Korea "in the strongest possible terms," adding that the launches were in direct violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

It said the launches serve as a reminder of the need for all countries to fully implement North Korea-related UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit Pyongyang from acquiring technologies and materials to advance its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs. The comment apparently has Russia in mind, as Moscow is stepping up its military cooperation with Pyongyang.