North Korea is said to have fired a ballistic missile into the waters east of the country from a submarine today. This is North Korea’s 15th missile launch this year.
According to the Reuters news agency, citing the South Korean military, the missile was launched from waters off the coastal town of Sinpo. Here North Korea placed equipment for the test launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The test took place this afternoon around 2 p.m. local time.
South Korea said South Korean and US intelligence officials analyzed the additional information in detail.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense also reported that the object launched by North Korea could be a ballistic missile. NHK, citing Japanese government sources, said the object fell outside Japan’s Special Economic Zone.
Japan and South Korea said North Korea also fired a missile into the sea east of the country mid-week after Pyongyang vowed to build up nuclear forces as soon as possible.
The US understands North Korea is preparing to conduct a test at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site later this month. Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said: “Rather than accept offers of dialogue, leader Kim Jong Un’s regime is preparing to test a strategic nuclear warhead. The time will depend on when the underground tunnels and equipment technology are ready.”
During a military parade last month, North Korea unveiled a number of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, including a small SLBM that was successfully launched from a submarine in October 2021.