South Korea played down the threat of North Korea launching a ballistic missile attack from a submarine, after the Kim Jong Un regime claimed a successful test over the weekend.
North Korea remains in the early stages of producing a submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles, and it has taken other nations four to five years to complete the development, South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min Seok said Monday at a briefing.
“North Korea is currently developing even the submarine used to conduct the ejection test, and it’s not complete,” Kim said. “Many more devices have to be furnished.”
Kim Jong Un watched a missile fly out of the sea after being fired from a sub in what he described as an “eye-opening success,” North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday. No details were provided on when or where the launch was conducted, or the size or range of the missile.
North Korea is banned from testing or developing ballistic missiles under sanctions imposed by the United Nations over its three nuclear tests since 2006. A satellite image taken in December showed that a submarine at a shipyard on North Korea’s east coast had one or two vertical launch tubes that could be used to fire ballistic or cruise missiles, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., a chief analytical officer at AllSource Analysis, wrote in January on 38 North, a blog monitoring North Korea.
South Korea still remains “seriously concerned,” Kim said, urging North Korea to stop the submarine development.