North Korea announced early Wednesday that it had successfully tested a “new-class” ballistic missile from a submarine.
The official North Korean news agency said that the missile has “many advanced technologies in the areas of control and guidance,” and that it was launched from the same submarine that Pyongyang used five years ago when it conducted its first test of a sea-to-surface strategic ballistic missile.
Earlier, the South Korean military announced that the North had tested a ballistic missile from a submarine off its east coast on Tuesday.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile took off at about 10:17 a.m. local time from around the city of Sinpo, where North Korea maintains submarines and equipment to test launch ballistic missiles from submarines.
Officials from South Korea and the United States are studying whether the missile was launched from an experimental Jurai-class submarine.
“Our military is closely following the situation and maintaining its readiness in close cooperation with the United States in anticipation of any further possible launch,” the South Korean military said in a statement.
The US Army’s Indo-Pacific Command noted that the military considers North Korea’s missile launch a destabilizing act, but it does not represent an immediate threat to the United States or its allies.
In a statement, the leadership noted, “The United States condemns these actions and calls on North Korea to desist from any further destabilizing actions.”
The new Japanese prime minister prompted the cancellation of campaign events, and cast a shadow over the opening of a major arms fair in Seoul.
The launch, announced by South Korean and Japanese officials, came after a meeting Monday between US and South Korean envoys in Washington to discuss the nuclear standoff with North Korea.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Pyongyang to abide by UN Security Council resolutions that ban the launch of ballistic missiles.
North Korea is engaged in military development in the face of international sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons and missile programs.