According to Japan’s coast guard, North Korea fired two missiles into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula five minutes apart on the morning of September 15. Less than three hours later, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense announced that it had successfully launched a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from a 3,000-ton ROKS Dosan Ahn Changho submarine.
Follow Yonhap news, President Moon Jae-in’s office said the weapon is expected to help South Korea deter potential threats from abroad, strengthen its self-defence, and promote peace on the Korean peninsula.
The Blue House announced that South Korea became the 7th country in the world capable of launching ballistic missiles from self-made submarines after a successful test on September 15. Before Korea, 6 countries possessing SLBM production capacity qualified for field operations as well as having high strategic value are the US, Russia, China, UK, France and India.
The Korea Defense Development Agency also said that the country has succeeded in developing a new type of ballistic missile capable of carrying a heavier and more powerful warhead. In addition, hypersonic cruise missiles have been developed, which are much faster than those currently in the arsenal and will soon be deployed to South Korean military units.
People watch information about North Korea’s missile launch on September 15 in Seoul, South Korea Photo: REUTERS
Reacting to the previous North Korean missile launch, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide strongly condemned it, calling it an “outrageous act” and a threat to peace and security in the region.
Both South Korea and Japan convened a national security council meeting after the launch. The launch comes just days after North Korea announced it had successfully tested a new long-range cruise missile last weekend, calling it a strategic weapon of great importance.
The September 15 missile tests by both North and South Korea came just hours after Moon and other senior officials met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Seoul.
According to the station CNNAt the meeting, Moon said that the Pyongyang side did not respond to the efforts of Seoul and Washington for dialogue regarding the situation on the Korean peninsula. China will continue to support the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and improve relations between the two Koreas, Wang said.
Professor Leif-Eric Easley at Ewha Women’s University in South Korea said North Korea appeared determined to modernize its military. Meanwhile, many experts say recent missile tests show that North Korea is increasing its arsenal to put pressure on the administration of President Joe Biden amid nuclear negotiations between the two countries. side is at an impasse.
Shin Beom-chul, director of the Center for Diplomacy and Security at the Korea Institute for National Strategic Studies, said North Korea believes its value is increasing amid the escalating US-China rivalry. .
North Korea’s missile launch was seen as unusual as China, Pyongyang’s close ally, was attending a major diplomatic event.
North Korea also believes that its relationship with China will not be impaired because of the missile test. However, Professor Hwang Jae-ho at Korea University of Foreign Studies said that North Korea’s ballistic missile tests could create a rare opportunity for the US and China to cooperate.