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North Korea fires what seems to be SLBM

North Korea fired what seems to be a SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile) toward the East Sea on Tuesday, the South Korean military said, in yet another setback to South Korea’s efforts for peace with Pyongyang.

The short-range missile was launched from waters east of Sinpo, a city on the North’s east coast, as reported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

Yonhap News Agency reported, the launch was detected at 10.17 a.m. on today Tuesday the 19th of October.

The missile moved about 590 km at a top altitude of around 60 km, an informed source said, noting the probability that the North Korea might have used a submarine as a launch platform this time.

Pyongyang previously conducted an SLBM test in 2015 and 2019. The South’s military believes that it used a barge rather than a submarine during the past tests.

According to officials in South Korea Tuesday’s launch came after South Korean and US intelligence authorities had detected signs of a possible weapons test near Sinpo, where the North Korea has been pushing to build a 3,200-tonne submarine capable of SLBM operations.

“The intelligence authorities of South Korea and the US are currently conducting a thorough analysis regarding additional details on the missile,” the JCS said.
The North Korea’s latest missile test marks its 8th known missile launch this year.
It previously fired a new hypersonic missile, called the Hwasong-8, on 28th September.

The US Indo-Pacific Command condemned the missile launch, calling on the North Korea to hold back from “any further destabilising acts”.
China called for concerned nations to exert “restraint”, saying the situation on the Korean Peninsula stands at a critical period.

North Korea watchers cited a possibility that a new, small-sized SLBM, capable of striking targets in the South or Japan, might have been fired from a 2,000-tonne submarine on Tuesday.

The North Korea displayed a mini-SLBM at a defence exhibition in Pyongyang previous week.
In recent times, North Korea has boasted its development of various SLBMs, including the “Pukguksong-4” and the “Pukguksong-5”, which were unveiled during military parades in October 2020 and January this year.

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