North Korea test-fired on Wednesday a type of ballistic missile intended to be launched from a submarine, South Korean and U.S. officials have said. It appeared to be the first test of a North Korean missile capable of being fired from underwater in three years, and it came just a couple days before the expected resumption of nuclear talks with the United States.
A U.S. official told CBS News senior national defense correspondent David Martin that the North had conducted a land-based test of a mid-range, submarine launched ballistic missile — so it was not actually launched from a submarine.The missile flew about 280 miles at a maximum altitude of 565 miles after liftoff from an unspecified place near the North’s eastern coastal town of Wonsan, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. The South Korean military said it was working with U.S. intelligence authorities to analyze the details of the launch.
In a statement issued by a State Department spokesperson, the U.S. called on North Korea “to refrain from provocations, abide by their obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions, and remain engaged in substantive and sustained negotiations to do their part to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and achieve denuclearization.” Japan lodged an immediate protest against North Korea, saying at least part of the missile had landed inside the country’s economic exclusive zone. If confirmed, it would be the first North Korean missile that has landed that close to Japan since November 2017.”At the moment, it seems that one missile was launched and that split into two and fell. We are conducting analysis for details,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference. During an emergency National Security Council meeting in South Korea, council members placed weight on the possibility that North Korea had tested a submarine-launched missile and expressed “strong concerns” over the North Korean move, according to South Korea’s presidential office.CBS News correspondent Ramy Inocencio reports the test launch was a significant escalation from the short-range missiles North Korea has tested so far this year. North Korea having the ability to launch missiles from submarines would be alarming because such weapons are harder to detect in advance. Many experts believe the North is trying to raise the stakes and ramp up pressure on the U.S. before their nuclear negotiators meet on Saturday. “The North is trying to convey a message that time is not on the side of the United States and that it could take a different path if the working-level talks don’t go the way it wanted,” Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies, told The Associated Press.