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DPRK says it successfully tested new submarine-launched ballistic missile

China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-04 09:36
This photo shows the new missile tested in the waters off the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Wonsan Bay. [Photo/Xinhua]

SEOUL - The Democratic People's Republic said on Thursday it had successfully test-fired a new submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM, from the sea to contain external threats and bolster self-defense, ahead of fresh nuclear talks with the United States.

DPRK's top leader Kim Jong-un "sent warm congratulations" to the defense scientists who conducted the test, according to the state KCNA news agency, indicating he did not attend the launch as he had at previous tests of new weapons systems.

The new type of SLBM, called Pukguksong-3, was "fired in vertical mode" in the waters off the eastern city of Wonsan, KCNA said, confirming an assessment by the Republic of Korea's military on Wednesday that the missile was launched on a lofted trajectory.

"The successful new-type SLBM test-firing comes to be of great significance as it ushered in a new phase in containing the outside forces' threat to the DPRK and further bolstering its military muscle for self-defense," KCNA said.

A US State Department spokeswoman called on Pyongyang to "refrain from provocations" and to remain committed to nuclear negotiations.

DPRK and US officials are scheduled to meet on Saturday to restart diplomacy on how to end nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang fired the missile hours after announcing it would resume talks with the United States by holding working-level negotiations.

Photos released in the DPRK's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, whose front two pages featured the test, showed a black-andwhite painted missile clearing the surface of the water, then the rocket engine igniting to propel it into the sky.

Kim Dong-yub, an analyst from Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies, wrote on Facebook that the missile was likely fired from a barge built for an underwater launch. He said the missile is under development and that Pyongyang must test-fire it from a submarine before deploying it.

ROK's Defense Ministry said the DRPK missile traveled about 450 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 910 kilometers. The ministry officials said the missile flew higher than any other short-range weapons the DPRK had test-fired in recent months.

KCNA said the missile was launched in a vertical mode and that its test had no adverse impact on the security of neighboring countries.

Agencies

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