DPRK fires short range ballistic missile into eastern waters

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired a short-range ballistic missile into the eastern waters, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Tuesday.

The JCS said in a statement that the South Korean military detected one unidentified short-range ballistic missile, which the DPRK launched at about 10:17 a.m. local time (0117 GMT) toward the East Sea from the eastern coast of Sinpo, South Hamgyong province in the eastern DPRK. 

It noted that the missile was estimated to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), saying the intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States were analysing further details on the missile. 

The JCS added that the South Korean military was closely monitoring the relevant situations and maintaining its readiness posture under close cooperation with the United States to prepare for possible further launches.

According to Yonhap News Agency, it was known that the missile flew eastward 430-450 km at an altitude of 60 km. 

If confirmed it would mark the first SLBM test launch by the DPRK in about two years. In October 2019, the DPRK said it succeeded in test-firing a new type of SLBM, known as Pukguksong-3.   

Under the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution, Pyongyang is banned from testing any ballistic missile technology. 

In response to the DPRK’s missile launch, the South Korean presidential Blue House convened the National Security Council (NSC) emergency meeting. 

The NSC expressed deep regret over the missile launch as it was conducted when South Korea’s active consultations are underway with the United States, China, Japan, Russia and other major countries to advance the Korean Peninsula peace process.

The council urged the DPRK to rapidly come forward for dialogue, emphasising that the peninsula’s stable situation is currently more necessary than ever. 

During his speech at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly last month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed a political declaration to terminate the 1950-53 Korean War. 

The two Koreas remain technically in a state of war as the fratricidal war ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. 

The DPRK staged several missile tests in September amid deadlocked denuclearisation talks with the United States.  -Xinhua

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