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North Korea confirms submarine missile launch amid tensions

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Picture by Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP
Hyung-Jin Kim and Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press

North Korea on Wednesday confirmed it had tested a newly developed missile designed to be launched from a submarine, the first such weapons test in two years and one it says will bolster its military’s underwater operational capability.

The test on Tuesday was the fifth missile launch since September and came as North Korea steps up pressure on Washington and Seoul to abandon what Pyongyang sees as hostile polices such as joint US-South Korea military drills and international sanctions on the North.

North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said the latest test “will greatly contribute to putting the defence technology of the country on a high level and to enhancing the underwater operational capability of our navy”.

It said the new missile has introduced advanced control guidance technologies including flank mobility and gliding skip mobility.

South Korea on Tuesday said they detected the North’s missile firing and said the weapon landed in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

Seoul’s military described the missile as a short-range, submarine-launched ballistic missile and said the launch was made from waters near the eastern port of Sinpo, where North Korea has a major shipyard building submarines.

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