North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile A Day After Agreeing To US Talks
PYONGYANG, North Korea. -- North Korea fired a ballistic missile Wednesday from an underwater launch platform, a United States official told CNN, a day after Pyongyang and Washington agreed to resume nuclear talks.
The US assessed that the missile was not fired from a submarine although the tested missile is designed to function as a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the US official, who was familiar with the situation, said.
The missile was launched toward the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, Wednesday morning, South Korea's military said. While North Korea has launched from an underwater platform before, it is the first time it has done so since talks with US President Donald Trump.
"Currently, our forces are maintaining readiness posture while watching related movements in preparation against additional launches," South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff said in a statement Wednesday.
South Korea said it was analyzing the incident "with the emphasis on the possibility that today's launch by North Korea is a test of a SLBM," a statement from the Blue House, South Korea's presidential office, said.
The missile was launched from near Wonsan, a city in Kangwon Province on North Korea's east coast and flew for a distance of 450 kilometers (280 miles) before landing in waters off Japan. It reached an altitude of 910 kilometers (565 miles) and is presumed to be a Pukkuksong missile, the JCS statement said.
Japan said Wednesday that North Korea launched one ballistic missiles that split into two pieces after launch. One of the pieces reached its Economic Exclusive Zone off Shimane prefecture at 7:26 a.m. local time, according to Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. No damage has been reported so far.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the press from his residences that the launch of a ballistic missile was in violation of the United Nations resolution and that Japan would "lodge stern protests against it and condemn such actions."
(PHOTO: CNN Newsource)