N. Korea claims successful launch of submarine ballistic missile

TOKYO, North Korea claimed Thursday it has successfully test-fired a new-type submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), just days ahead of a possible resumption of denuclearization talks with the US.

The North’s Academy of Defense Science succeeded in test-firing the “new-type SLBM Pukguksong-3” in the waters off Wonsan Bay of the East Sea on Wednesday morning, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

The missile was test-fired “in vertical mode” and “scientifically and technically confirmed the key tactical and technical indexes of the newly-designed ballistic missile, and had no adverse impact on the security of neighboring countries,” KCNA said, without giving further details on the weapon. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent “warm congratulations,” according to the report.

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 North and further bolstering its military muscle for self-defense, the agency said.

On Wednesday, South Korea’s military said the North fired what was believed to be an SLBM into the East Sea (Sea of Japan), which flew around 450 km at a maximum altitude of about 910 km. It was the North’s first SLBM launch since August 2016, which flew about 500 km.

The launch came as Pyongyang and Washington plan to resume their working-level nuclear talks on Friday.

The denuclearization talks have been stalled since February’s no-deal summit in Hanoi.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a surprise meeting at the inter-Korean border on June 30 and agreed to restart nuclear talks within several weeks, but such talks have not taken place so far.

Source: Kuwait News Agency