N. Korea confirms test-launch of new SLBM; Kim Jong-un not present at firing
Updated: 2021-10-20 13:43:48 KST
North Korea has confirmed it has successfully test-fired a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile.
The regime's state media reported Wednesday that the Academy of National Defense Science test-launched the SLBM on Tuesday from eight-24 Youngung, adding it's the same place the North's first SLBM was successfully fired from five years ago.
Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday that the missile was launched from the vicinity of Sinpo, Hamkyungnam-do Province, traveling 430 to 450 kilometers, at a maximum height of sixty kilometers.
The new weapon appears to be a mini-SLBM, first unveiled at a rare defense exhibition held in Pyeongyang last week to mark the 76th anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party.
There, the leader Kim Jong-un called for the strengthening of his regime's military capabilities.
Watchers say the missile's mini-size allows it to fit the North's rather small submarines and is also due to a limit on the number of missiles that the submarine can take.
Kim Jong-un was not present and has been absent from all eight of the North's launches this year.
Also missing was Pak Jong-chon, a member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the ruling Workers' Party, who had guided recent missile launches.
Experts note their absence is an attempt by the North to tone down the level of the significance of the test-launch and that the regime's continuous weapons development, following its five-year weapons strategy, is to put pressure on Seoul and Washington who are seeking a return to dialogue.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.