North Korea has successfully test-fired a newly developed ballistic missile from a submarine in what would be the latest display of the country’s advancing military capability.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un personally attended the test launching of what he described as a “world-level strategic weapon.”
Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, ordered the test of the “world-level strategic weapon” and was present when it “soared into the sky from underwater,” the state-run agency reported.
“There took place an underwater test-fire of Korean-style powerful strategic submarine ballistic missile,” the KCNA article reads. Development of submarine-based missile technology provides North Korea with “world-level strategic weapon capable of striking and wiping out in any waters” hostile forces.
The report did not reveal the exact timing and location of the launch.
North Korea had previously tested the KN-11 missile from platforms on land and at sea, but this appears to be the first time it has launched a rocket from under water.
North Korea is prohibited from developing and launching ballistic missiles under UN Security Council resolutions. The missile pictured appears to be similar to an earlier North Korean design.
Security experts say that North Korea acquiring the ability to launch missiles from submarines would be an alarming development as missiles fired from submerged vessels are harder to detect before launch than land-based ones.
A US research institute said in January that such capability posed a potential new threat to South Korea, Japan and US bases in East Asia, although North Korea’s submarines tend to be old and would be vulnerable to attack.