North Korea's state media cheers: The armed forces want to have launched a missile from a submarine that can fly for about 450 kilometers. If true, a new danger would emanate from Kim's realm. But experts doubt that the country really has such a weapon.
North Korea has confirmed the test of a submarine-based ballistic missile. The "new" Pukguksong-3 missile was fired from the waters off Wonsan Bay, official KCNA reported. The successful test of the previous day heralded a "new phase" in the defense of the "external threat". Ruler Kim Jong Un said "warm congratulations" to the participants in the test, KCNA wrote. Published photos showed a black and white rocket rising from the water.
The South Korean General Staff said on Wednesday that North Korea had another rocket test, possibly firing a submarine-based ballistic missile. The rocket flew 450 miles and then crashed into the sea. The Japanese government said that part of the projectile had reached Japanese waters.
If North Korea were indeed capable of firing ballistic missiles from submarines, that would be a significant step in the armaments efforts of the internationally isolated country. Pyongyang could then launch attacks from locations other than the North Korean mainland – and would be responsive even after a possible attack on its military bases. However, experts assume that the rocket was fired on Wednesday not from a submarine, but by a retractable platform. This is suggested by the published photos, which show a tugboat alongside the ascending rocket.
Negotiations with the US do not progress
Ankit Panda of the Union of US Scientists warned it have been around the first North Korean test of a nuclear-capable rocket since November 2017. The "rocket man" Kim was also active during his "diplomatic charm offensive" in the armor.
North Korea had fired multiple ballistic short-range missiles during tests in recent weeks. It was not until Tuesday that the government in Pyongyang announced plans to resume nuclear talks with the US this week. Following the renewed missile test, the US State Department warned North Korea of "provocations." UN resolutions prohibit Pyongyang from launching ballistic missiles.
North Korea had already tested weapons in the past shortly after being offered a call. According to experts, the leadership in Pyongyang wants to increase the pressure on the other side.
Negotiations between the USA and North Korea over a denuclearization have not been staged for months. At a summit meeting in Hanoi in February, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had failed to agree on steps to bring nuclear disarmament to North Korea. At the end of June, Trump and Kim met again in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. They agreed to a continuation of talks at the working level.