North Korea is likely to launch submarine-launched ballistic missiles, South Korea says

Seoul / South Korea — North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine on Saturday, South Korea said, escalation just before the inauguration of the South Korean president and the visit of the U.S. president who vowed to take a strong attitude toward North Korea ..

South Korean troops said they launched what appears to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) into the sea off the east coast at around 5:07 am on Saturday from the suburbs of Sinpo, where North Korea stores submarines and test equipment. -Fire SLBM.

Japan also stated that the projectile was a short-range ballistic missile. Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the recent developments in North Korea’s nuclear missile-related technology and the repeated launches of ballistic missiles threaten the region and the international community.

“This is absolutely unacceptable,” he told reporters, and Japan will work closely with the United States, South Korea and other allies to “significantly strengthen its defenses” to protect its people from these security threats. He added that he would continue to “strengthen.”

The launch will take place three days before President Yoon Seok-yul takes office as South Korean President and prior to the summit meeting with US President Joe Biden in Seoul on May 21.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Prime Minister Park Jie-won of the National Intelligence Service said that North Korea may conduct a nuclear test between its inauguration and his visit to Biden.

Mr Kishi said North Korea could be ready for a nuclear test earlier this month and take even more provocative action.

This was also in line with the US assessment that Pyongyang is preparing its Punggye-ri nuclear test site and is ready to conduct tests there as early as this month.

“this is [South’s] The new administration will start next week and is putting preemptive pressure on the situation before the US-Korea summit, “said Professor Yang Mu-jin of the North Korean Research University in Seoul.

“It also creates tensions to strengthen the internal coherence of the regime in the face of situations such as the prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic.”

Yun seeking deterrence

Yonhap News Agency Yonhap News Agency said that Yonhap News Agency’s third tunnel was designed to test smaller nuclear weapons without giving details.

Analysts and South Korean and US officials have restored tunnel 3 on the east coast site that was used for the underground nuclear explosion before North Korea was closed in 2018 during denuclearization talks with Washington and Seoul. Said it seems to be.

Japan and South Korea estimated that Saturday’s missiles flew from a height of 50-60 km (30-40 miles) to 600 km (370 miles).

Kim, a candidate for Yun’s national security adviser, said the Yun administration would gather its capabilities as soon as possible because of its fundamental countermeasures against North Korea’s provocation and practical deterrence against the threat of nuclear missiles. Mr. Songhan said in a statement.

South Korea and Japan said on Wednesday that North Korea launched ballistic missiles into the waters off the east coast after North Korea vowed to develop nuclear weapons “at the fastest possible speed.”

“Instead of accepting the invitation to the dialogue, the Kim administration seems to be preparing a tactical nuclear warhead test. Timing depends most on when underground tunnels and modified device technology are ready,” said Seoul. Professor Leif-Eric Easley of Ewha University said.

“The seventh nuclear test is the first nuclear test since September 2017, raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and increasing the risk of miscalculations and misunderstandings between the Kim and the next Yun administrations.”

Last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised to accelerate the development of his country’s nuclear weapons. He presided over an intercontinental ballistic missile and a military parade that exhibited what appeared to be SLBMs carried by trucks and rockets.

In October, North Korea test-fired a new small ballistic missile from a submarine. According to analysts, this move may be aimed at attacking missile submarines in operation more quickly.

In an interview with Voice of America released Saturday, Yun said the meeting with Kim Jong Un wasn’t off the table, but he needed to get concrete results.

“There is no reason to avoid meeting,” Yun said. “But if you can’t show the results, or if the results are just a display and there is no actual result of denuclearization … it won’t help develop the relationship between South Korea and South Korea.”

Joyce Lee and Kentaro Komiya