SEOUL: North Korea says its latest weapons test was of a submarine-launched ballistic missile that marked a “new phase” in its defence capability, just days before the resumption of stalled nuclear talks with the US. The test was by far the most provocative since Pyongyang first began a dialogue with Washington in 2018, and marked a significant step in North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, analysts said. A proven submarine-based missile capability would take the North’s arsenal to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and a second-strike capability in the event of an attack on its military bases. “The new-type ballistic missile was fired in vertical mode” on Wednesday in the waters off Wonsan Bay, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, identifying the weapon as a Pukguksong-3. “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,“ it added. The North’s leader Kim Jong Un sent “warm congratulations” to research units involved in the launch. Kim has personally supervised recent land-based missile tests. Photos carried by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed a black and white missile emerging from the water and… Read full this story
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