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PoliticsNorth Korea

N. Korea fires suspected sub-launched ballistic missile

May 7, 2022

North Korea has defied international sanctions on its weapons program and has continued to ramp up the testing of weapons it deems essential to its survival.

A TV in South Korea shows a North Korean missile launch
Pyongyang has continued with missile testing despite international sanctionsImage: picture alliance/dpa/AP

North Korea on Saturday fired a short-range ballistic missile into the sea off it eastern coast, South Korea's military said.

South Korean military said it believed the North may have tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLMB) around 0507 GMT on Saturday from around Sinpo city on North Korea's eastern coast.

Sinpo is typically where Pyongyang bases its submarines and other equipment for test-firing SLBMs.

Seoul's military said the missile flew 600 kilometers (373 miles) to a maximum altitude of 60 kilometers.

Japan confirms new test

Japan's Defense Ministry also said that Pyongyang may have fired a ballistic missile.

Japan's Coast Guard added that the missile fell into the waters around 0525 GMT.

Japan's public broadcaster, NHK, reported the projectile landed outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone, citing government sources.

North Korea: Penthouses for the unfortunate

The launch comes just three days after Pyongyang fired a suspected ballistic missile from the Sunan district of the capital.

The latest is likely Pyongyang's 15th missile launch this year alone and comes days before South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol is set to be publicly sworn in.

Yoon, who won presidential elections on March 10 this year, has vowed to take greater action against the North's nuclear program and signaled a willingness to work with the US to do so.

US President Joe Biden is also slated to meet with him this month after he's sworn in this Tuesday.

North conducts string of tests

Japan and the United States condemned the North's missile launch earlier in the week, with Washington reiterating the North kept violating multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban it from all ballistic missile and nuclear tests.

In March, the US levied a fresh round of sanctions on several individuals and entities in North Korea, as well as allies Russia and China, in a bid to stiffen sanctions against the North's missile program.

The sanctions were in response to the North's claim of having fired one of its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) yet.

Experts later debunked the claim, saying the North fired more or less the same type of ICBM it fired in 2017, the last time it fired the weapon prior to its test earlier this year in March.

rm/sms (Reuters, AP)