North Korea says it test-fired ballistic missile from submarine

South Korea urges its neighbour to resume talks

Rory Sullivan
Wednesday 20 October 2021 01:25
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<p>A woman in South Korea walks past a news broadcast of a North Korean missile test on 19 October, 2021. </p>

A woman in South Korea walks past a news broadcast of a North Korean missile test on 19 October, 2021.

North Korea has said it test-fired a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the day after South Korea and Japan first reported the weapons test.

State media agency KCNA said on Wednesday that the “new-type” SLBM was launched from a submarine, which the country used to test an older warhead in 2016.

The incident, which took place off North Korea’s east coast on Tuesday, is the latest in a string of missile tests conducted by Pyongyang this year.

From photographs released by KCNA, experts believe the latest SLBM is thinner than previous designs, meaning more could be stored on a single vessel.

For its part, North Korea said the missile “will greatly contribute...to enhancing the underwater operational capability of our navy.”

The missile was fired from the waters around Sinpo, where North Korea keeps submarines and other military equipment, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

One military source said the SLBM flew up to 430km (280 miles) and reached heights of 60km (37 miles).

The United States branded the launch destabilising, while UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres told North Korea to stop its missile tests.

South Korea expressed disappointment over the test but encouraged its neighbour to restart talks, while Japan called Pyongyang’s latest actions regrettable.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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