Saturday 12/4/21
WEAPON TEST

North Korea confirms test of submarine-launched ballistic missile

The country has tested at least eight missiles this year, including a hypersonic missile
HANDOUT - 20 October 2021, North Korea, Sinpo: A photo provided by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 20 October 2021 shows a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) being fired in waters off the east coast the previous day. Photo: -/KCNA/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full
A photo by the North Korean Central News Agency shows a submarine-launched ballistic missile being fired in waters off the east coast. Photo: KCNA.

North Korea on Wednesday confirmed a rocket test a day earlier, saying it had tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

North Korean state news agency KCNA reported Pyongyang test-launched a "new type" of rocket which it said would help enhance the country's defence technology and the navy's underwater operational capability.

Photos published by KCNA showed a small rocket with a presumably small range. This, paired with the absence of leader Kim Jong Un at the launch, is why experts do not consider the test a groundbreaking development for North Korea's missile programme.

UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing ballistic missiles, which, depending on their design, can also carry a nuclear warhead.

The country is subject to international sanctions because of its nuclear weapons programme, but has tested at least eight missiles this year, including what it says is a hypersonic missile that is difficult to intercept because of its great speed.

UN meeting

The latest tests come after envoys from the South Korean, Japanese and US governments met in Washington on Monday to discuss North Korea's nuclear programme.

The UN Security Council will discuss the latest missile test in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday at the request of Britain and the US.

Seoul expressed hope for the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue earlier this month as North Korea and South Korea restored their direct telephone and fax lines.

Negotiations between North Korea and the United States have not made any progress since Kim's failed summit with then-US president Donald Trump in Vietnam in February 2019.

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