Home Asia Pacific North Korea carries out submarine-launched ballistic missile test

North Korea carries out submarine-launched ballistic missile test

North Korea SLBM launch
KCNA photo of the October 2021 SLBM launch

North Korea launched a probable submarine-launched ballistic missile into the East Sea on May 7, Japan’s defense ministry and South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) confirmed.

The missile was launched from a submarine off Sinpho, towards the East Sea.

Japan’s defense ministry said the missile flew at a maximum altitude of about 50 km. It also flew for around 600 km before falling into the Sea of ​​Japan on the east side of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean officials billed the SLBM’s flight distance at 600 kilometers, and the altitude at 60 kilometers.

These numbers roughly correspond to the distance flown by the SLBM that was based on the nuclear-capable KN-23 and first tested in October last year.

Japan MOD graphic of the May 7 launch

The test on Saturday is the latest in a long line of missile launches carried out by North Korea since the start of the year. The country has so far conducted at least 15 missile tests this year. The SLBM launch followed the test of a single ballistic missile from earlier this week.

“A series of North Korean actions, including the repeated launches of ballistic missiles, threaten the peace and security of Japan, the region and the international community,” Japan’s defense ministry said.

“Also, it is not permissible to launch missiles in quick succession during the invasion of Ukraine. In addition, such ballistic missile launches violate the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and are strongly condemned,” the ministry noted.