Previously, missile and nuclear threats from North Korea were taken with a grain of salt as most were doubtful about the country’s military and technological capabilities. However, the tides are changing as a new assessment of North Korea’s ballistic missiles suggest that Pyongyang’s making steady progress which could eventually pose some serious threat.
North Korea missile threat is getting serious – at least according to a US official. Specifically, the official said that North Korea’s recent test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile suggest how determined Pyongyang is with its missile program.
“North Korea’s sub launch capability has gone from a joke to something very serious,” CNN quoted an unidentified US official.
“The U.S. is watching this very closely,” added the official. According to reports, North Korea fired off the missile 6:30 p.m. Saturday (5:30 a.m. ET), off the coast of the Korean peninsula, as confirmed by South Korean officials. Additionally, the missile reportedly flew about 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) – which is short of the 300 kilometers or around 186 miles of what would otherwise be considered as a successful launch.
North Korean state news agency KCNA reported that the test was successful. On top of this, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “guided on the spot the underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile.”
“At the observation post he was briefed on the plan for the test-fire and gave an order for it,” CNN quoted KCNA.
“As soon as the order was issued, the submarine submerged as low as the biggest depth of waters for launching and fired the ballistic missile. The test-fire was aimed to confirm the stability of the underwater ballistic launching system in the maximum depth of waters.”
The UN Security Council condemned the said launch.
“Such ballistic missile activities contribute to (North Korea’s) development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and increase tension in the region and beyond,” Channel News Asia quoted the UN Council in a statement. According to the organization, such test is a grave violation of previous resolutions to deter Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons drive. UN also urged North Korea to “refrain from further actions in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.”