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World

19. 10. 2021. 00:00   >>  16:40 0

WARNING TO SHIPS

N. Korea fired ballistic missile from submarine

North Korea on Tuesday fired at least one ballistic missile into the sea in what South Korea's military described as a weapon likely designed for submarine-based launches. The test marked possibly the most significant demonstration of the North's military might since President Joe Bidentook office.

The launch came hours after the U.S. reaffirmed its offer to resume diplomacy on North Korea's nuclear weapons program. It underscored how the North continues to expand its military capabilities amid a pause in diplomacy.

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that it had detected the North firing one short-range ballistic missile it presumed as a submarine-launched ballistic missile from waters near the eastern port of Sinpo, and that the South Korean and U.S. militaries were closely analyzing the launch.

The South Korean military said the launch was made at sea, but it didn't elaborate whether it was fired from a vessel submerged underwater or another launch platform above the sea's surface.The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said North Korea's latest launch did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel, territory, or that of its allies.

"The United States condemns these actions and calls on the DPRK to refrain from any further destabilizing acts," it said, using an abbreviation of North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

But Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said his country's initial analysis suggested that the North fired two ballistic missiles. Japan's coast guard issued a maritime safety advisory to ships but didn't immediately know where the alleged missiles landed.

The shipyard in Sinpo is a major defense industry hub where North Korea focuses its submarine production. In recent years, the North has also used Sinpo to develop ballistic weapons systems designed to be fired from submarines.

North Korea hadlast tested an SLBM in October 2019, but that missile was launched from land and South Korean analysts said it flew much further than the rocket fired on Tuesday.

 

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