latest ballistic missile test

North Korea says its latest ballistic missile test was launched from a submarine

North Korea said it successfully tested a new ballistic missile from a submarine on Tuesday, state news agency KCNA reported Wednesday.

KCNA said the ballistic missile was launched from the “8.24 Yongung” submarine, the same vessel used to test North Korea’s first SLBM in 2016.

The report said that “many advanced control guidance technologies” had been included in the missile, which “would go a long way toward bringing the country’s defense technology to a high level and enhancing the submarine operational capabilities of our navy.”

Japan and South Korea reported the launch of at least one ballistic missile that they said was fired from the sea near the port city of Sinpo in Hamgyong province around 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday. (9 PM ET Monday). Sinpo is home to a North Korean shipyard.

The UN Security Council will hold a closed-door meeting on Wednesday to discuss North Korea in the wake of the latest missile test, a UN diplomat with knowledge of the meeting told Globe Live Media. International law prohibits Pyongyang from testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

North Korea fires at least one ballistic missile and falls into the sea

Adam Mount, principal investigator for the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said North Korea had previously tested only a small number of SLBMs (submarine-launched missiles), despite having claimed for several years that it had such a capability.

Mount said North Korea viewed SLBMs as another method to overcome the missile defenses of the United States and its allies, specifically South Korea and Japan. “They are concerned that our defenses will nullify their deterrence capacity,” he said.

But Mount added that SLBM missiles are only as good as the ships that carry them, and that the US military is more than capable of dealing with North Korean noisy submarines.

“The weak link in their submarine missile program is the submarines, and that is a huge technical challenge for the North Koreans,” he said, adding that Pyongyang’s ships were so outgunned that SLBMs were effectively a “redundant capability.”

Conflicting signals on the Korean peninsula

North Korea’s missile test on Tuesday came after weeks of oscillating tensions on the Korean peninsula, which saw growing cooperation between Pyongyang and Seoul at the same time as increased military maneuvers.

On October 4, Pyongyang agreed to reopen official communications with Seoul for the first time in months. South and North Korea spoke on a joint communication line on Tuesday, shortly before the missile test, according to a South Korean Unification Ministry official, but the North did not discuss the launch during the call.

North Korea has also accelerated its weapons testing program in recent weeks, including the launch in late September of what it claimed was a new hypersonic missile.

In a statement Tuesday, the US Indo-Pacific Command said it was aware of the latest missile launch from North Korea. He also assured that he would work closely with regional allies to monitor the situation.

“The United States condemns these actions and calls on the DPRK to refrain from any other destabilizing act,” the statement said, referring to North Korea by its official name. “The United States’ commitment to the defense of (South Korea) and Japan continues to be ironclad.”

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.