North Korean authorities confirmed Wednesday the launching of a ballistic missile from a submarine the day before, ratifying reports from South Korea and Japan.
The North Korean Academy of Defense Sciences has passed on the information, according to the North Korean news agency KCNA, which also remarked that this new type of missile has new control and guidance technologies.
However, the event was not attended by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, nor by the secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, Park Jeong Cheon, who until now had attended all recent test firings, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.
In this way, North Korea has ratified the reports of the Chinese and Japanese authorities, who on Tuesday warned of the launching of at least one projectile into the Sea of Japan.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff indicated on Tuesday morning that Pyongyang had launched an underwater ballistic missile from a site near Sinpo, in the North Korean province of South Hamgyong.
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said North Korea had fired two ballistic missiles with no reports of damage.
Later, the U.S. Army has condemned the launching of a projectile, and urged North Korean authorities to make an act of “restraint” in the region and to stop any maneuver “leading to destabilization” in the area.
In the same vein, in a press conference, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki rejected the act and pointed out that this fact underlines “the urgent need for dialogue and diplomacy” and reiterated Washington’s proposal to hold a meeting “anywhere, at any time and without preconditions”.
Likewise, a spokesman for the Japanese government recalled that Pyongyang’s launch violated UN Security Council resolutions.
In fact, this institution has confirmed that it will hold an emergency meeting in view of the recent events, at the request of the United States and the United Kingdom, reports DPA.
On the other hand, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has assured that “all parties concerned should focus on the overall situation, exercise restraint, commit themselves to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and continue in the right direction of dialogue and consultation”.
The firing of this projectile follows a series of Pyongyang weapons tests conducted in September, including that of a hypersonic missile or a newly developed anti-aircraft missile.
In addition, Tuesday’s launch comes after South and North Korea earlier this month reestablished direct lines of communication in a bid to improve relations.
Relations have been strained by stalled negotiations between Pyongyang and the United States in 2019 and because of Seoul’s joint military exercises with Washington.
North Korea is subject to international sanctions due to its nuclear weapons program, as United Nations resolutions prohibit the testing of ballistic missiles.
It has also spent years developing missiles capable of reaching not only South Korea and Japan, but can carry warheads as far as the United States, and has declared itself a nuclear power.
Its latest test launches of submarine-launched ballistic missiles date from 2015 and 2019, while Sinpo is the site from which Pyongyang is trying to build a submarine capable of carrying such a missile, Yonhap reports.