North Korea confirmed on Monday that it has tested Hwasong-12, an intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States territory of Guam in the Western Pacific region, reported Reuters. Hwasong-12 is the same weapon that North Korea had used to threaten Guam with “an enveloping fire” in 2017.

South Korean and Japanese authorities had reported about the launch on Sunday.

This is the seventh ballistic missile test conducted by North Korea this month. The test was meant to confirm the “accuracy, safety, and operational effectiveness” of the ballistic missile, Reuters reported, citing North Korean state news agency KCNA.

The ballistic missile flew about 800 kilometres and reached an altitude of 2,000 kilometres before landing in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, according to the estimate made by South Korea and Japan, reported the Associated Press.

North Korea said the missile was launched toward the waters off its eastern coast and on a high angle to prevent it from landing in other countries.

Experts say that the move by North Korea is aimed at getting a relief on sanctions imposed on it, or for getting international recognition as a legitimate nuclear state, according to the Associated Press.

Cheong Seong-Chang, an analyst at the Sejong Institute in South Korea, said that North Korea was likely to test-launch its existing long-range missiles if the US tried to impose more sanctions on it.

Following the launch, unidentified White House officials told the Associated Press that the US administration was viewing North Korea’s move as an escalating series of provocations over the last several months that have become increasingly concerning.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that Sunday’s missile launch brought North Korea to the brink of breaking its 2018 self-imposed weapons test moratorium.