North Korea launched a submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) towards the East Sea (Sea of Japan) from a submarine near Sinpo at 02:07 p.m. on May 7th. The launch comes just four days ahead of the presidential inauguration of Suk-yeol Yoon.
The SLBM flew 600 km and reached an altitude of about 60 km. ROK and US intelligence services are still analyzing the launch
The ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff release a statement saying:
“North Korea’s continuous launches of ballistic missiles is a serious threat the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the international community. We define this as an obvious violation of the UN security resolution, and urges North Korea to stop it immediately.”
The outgoing president Moon held the National Security Council led by the Director of the National Security Hoon Suh, at 4 p.m., criticizing and pointing out again that this threat violates the UN security resolution and poses serious threats to the Korean Peninsula and the world. The NSC also requested North Korea to come back to the diplomatic table to solve issues.
The SLBM launch of North Korea took place seven months after the North launched a mini-SLBM on October 19th 2021. Korean intelligence authorities reportedly consider the SLBM this time as similar to the mini-SLBM known as KN-23. The North’s Gorae-class submarine-launched SLBM last year flew high up to 60 km over a distance of 590 km.
The local reports analyzed that this could be a provocation against the upcoming visit of US President Joe Biden to Korea for the summit talk and the inauguration of the new conservative president-elect Suk-yeol Yoon.
North Korea revealed in late April a new SLBM and small-sized SLBM, as improved versions Pukguksung-5ㅅ.