North Korean state-run media said Saturday that Pyongyang performed a "crucial test" at its long-range Sohae rocket launch site, with the move a possible signal towards Washington. The test could be preparations for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The test was performed Friday, with the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defense Science on the issue. Later on Saturday, KCNA then broadcast a statement from Chief of the General Staff Pak Jong Ghon, who explained why the tests were being conducted.

“The priceless data, experience and new technologies gained in the recent tests of defense science research will be fully applied to the development of another strategic weapon of the DPRK for definitely and reliably restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.," he elaborated. The DPRK is the official name for North Korea, and stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

North Korea had conducted "a very important test" at the same site earlier this week. North Korea and the U.S. are currently in stalled negotiations over Pyongyang's controversial nuclear program, with North Korea setting a year-end deadline for a deal. North Korea wants the U.S. to lift some of the debilitating sanctions as part of the deal.

President Trump had recently said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "likes shooting rockets up" in reference to recent rocket launches and called him "Rocket Man." The name angered Pyongyang, with North Korea threatening to take denuclearization off the table for negotiations.

North Korean and U.S. negotiators last met in October in Sweden to discuss a nuclear deal, with diplomatic talks falling through on the first day of discussions. Trump and Kim had also met in Vietnam and Singapore over the last two years for talks but failed to reach a deal.