North Korea confirms missile test designed for submarine launch

Seoul, Oct 20 (AP): North Korea announced Wednesday that it had tested a newly developed missile designed to be launched from a submarine, the first such weapons test in two years and one it says will bolster its military’s underwater operational capability. The test was the fifth round of missile launch since September and came as North Korea steps up pressure on Washington and Seoul to abandon what Pyongyang sees as hostile polices such as joint US-South Korea military drills and international sanctions on the North. North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said the latest test will greatly contribute to putting the defense technology of the country on a high level and to enhancing the underwater operational capability of our navy. It said the new missile has introduced advanced control guidance technologies including flank mobility and gliding skip mobility.
The North’s neighbors said that they detected the North’s missile firing and said the weapon landed in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. South Korea’s military described the missile as a short-range, submarine-launched ballistic missile and said the launch was made from waters near the eastern port of Sinpo, where North Korea has a major shipyard building submarines.
KCNA said the launch was made from the same 8.24 Yongung ship, a submarine that North Korea said it used to conduct its first submarine-launched strategic ballistic missile test in 2016. Photos published by North Korea show a missile rising and spewing bright flames above a cloud of smoke from the sea. One image shows the upper parts of what looks like a submarine on the surface of the sea.
This launch is the most high-profile weapons test by North Korea since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The Biden administration has repeatedly said it’s open to resuming nuclear diplomacy with North Korea anywhere and at any time without preconditions. The North has so far rebuffed such overtures, saying US hostility remains unchanged.
The launch came days before Sung Kim, Biden’s special envoy on North Korea, was to travel to Seoul to discuss with allies the possibility of reviving diplomacy with Pyongyang.
At a meeting in Washington with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, Kim emphasized US condemnation of the launch, which violates multiple UN Security Council resolutions, and urged Pyongyang to refrain from further provocations and engage in sustained and substantive dialogue, the State Department said.
The UN Security Council scheduled emergency closed consultations on North Korea on Wednesday afternoon at the request of the United States and United Kingdom.

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