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North Korea confirms submarine launch of new ballistic missile

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture shows the test-firing of a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile in an undisclosed location in North Korea, on October 19, 2021. (Via AFP)

North Korea says it has successfully test-fired a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), in a move that prompted the UN Security Council to hold an emergency closed-door meeting at the request of the US and Britain.

The test was carried out on Tuesday, near Sinpo, the site of a major naval dockyard, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Wednesday. The missile had "lots of advanced control guidance technologies," according to the KCNA.

South Korea, the US, and Japan reported the launch on Tuesday, with all three describing it as a ballistic missile.

After the latest missile test, the UN Security Council said it would hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

North Korea is under harsh UN sanctions for its missile and nuclear activities.

In recent weeks, Pyongyang tested a long-range cruise missile, a train-launched weapon, and a hypersonic warhead.

The latest launch came after the US and South Korean envoys met in Washington to discuss Pyongyang's nuclear program.

The US Indo-Pacific Command condemned the test, describing it as "destabilizing."

Washington said on Tuesday that the recent test underscored the "urgent" need for dialog with Pyongyang, with White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki telling a press briefing that the administration of President Joe Biden's "offer remains to meet [with North Korean officials] anywhere, anytime, without preconditions."

With Washington-Pyongyang dialog at a standstill, Biden has repeatedly expressed his willingness to meet North Korean officials in order to resume denuclearization talks. Pyongyang, however, has dismissed the US offer of dialog as a "petty trick," accusing Washington of pursuing a hostile policy toward North Korea.

Pyongyang also accused Seoul of "hypocrisy," but reassured that its drive to build up its military isn't targeted at the South and that there shouldn't be another war pitting the Korean people against each other.

The two Koreas are still technically at war as the 1950-53 war between them ended in a truce and not a peace treaty.

Communication between the two neighbors has largely been cut since a second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi in February 2019. The summit, between Kim and the then-US President Donald Trump, collapsed as they failed to reach an agreement.

South Korea test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile of its own for the first time last month.


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