North Korea conducted another "crucial" test on Friday that will help boost the country's "nuclear deterrent," an unnamed spokesman said in a statement carried Saturday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
Pyongyang did not give details of the test at the Sohae satellite launching station in Tongchang-ri, but it may have been related to an intercontinental ballistic missile launch, foreign affairs experts say.
The latest research conducted at the rocket launch site "will be applied to further bolstering up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent" of North Korea, the spokesman for the Academy of the National Defense Science said in the statement.
The news agency did not mention whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test.
KCNA earlier reported that a "very important test" was carried out last Saturday at the Sohae station located in northwestern North Korea, where Pyongyang previously developed a liquid-fuel engine for a long-range ballistic missile.
As denuclearization talks with the United States remain at a standstill, North Korea has recently threatened to resume nuclear and ICBM tests if the negotiations fail to achieve a breakthrough by the end of the year.
Since earlier this year, North Korea has conducted test-firings of what appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning Pyongyang from developing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.
On Wednesday, the United States urged North Korea to return to stalled denuclearization talks during an open debate at the Security Council, saying it is prepared to be "flexible" in the process while warning against continued provocative acts.
But North Korea reacted sharply to the U.N. meeting, with an unnamed spokesman for the country's Foreign Ministry saying, "We are ready to take a countermeasure corresponding to anything that the U.S. opts for."
At the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit in June 2018 in Singapore, U.S. President Donald Trump promised to provide security guarantees to Pyongyang in return for "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea, however, has claimed that Washington has not implemented the agreement despite Pyongyang taking what it says are concrete measures to discard its nuclear arsenal.