North Korea Fires Off Suspected Sub-Launched Ballistic Missile
North Korea reportedly launched a submarine ballistic missile off its east coast on Saturday, according to officials in Seoul and Tokyo. The launch took place just three days before South Korea’s new president is set to take office. The missile was fired in the afternoon from the Sinpo area, which is a coastal region and location of a Nother Korean naval base. The missile reached an altitude of 31 miles and traveled roughly 373 miles before falling into waters between Korea and Japan. The Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi confirmed that the missile landed outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
However, the actions of North Korea and continuous ballistic missile launches pose a significant threat to the peace and security of its neighbors, South Korea and Japan. Mr. Kishi called the weapons launch unacceptable in a statement addressing the incident. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff called the launched a grave threat that seeks to undermine peace. The two countries urged North Korea to suspend the missile launches, some of which violate United Nations sanctions, and instead engage in peaceful dialogue. This year, North Korea has conducted more than a dozen missile tests.