North Korea attempted yet another failed missile launch Saturday, this time of an allegedly submarine-launched ballistic missile. The news follows promises from Pyongyang that a new submarine is in development.
The test fire over the weekend was conducted from a 2,000-ton Sinpo-class submarine, according to CNN. The missile in question only traveled 19 miles before crashing into the East Sea. South Korean standards for a successful missile launch are 186 miles or 300 KM.
This weekend’s launch is the latest failed intimidation attempt from Pyongyang. Earlier this month, American and South Korean military officials told news outlets that North Korea attempted a missile launch in honor of “Eternal President” Kim Il-sung’s birthday, which was described as “an embarrassing failure.”
North Korean state media is reporting the incident as a success. The government newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported that dictator Kim Jong-un “highly praised the officials, scientists and technicians in the field of national defense science and munitions factories for having successfully rounded off the technology of underwater launching of ballistic missile from a strategic submarine at a higher level.”
“The successful test-fire would help remarkably bolster up the underwater operational capability of the KPA navy,” he is quoted as saying. Yonhap confirmed the spin in North Korean propaganda, claiming that the test proves North Korea “now has the capability to strike its opponents in South Korea and the United States, with the least warning and at anytime it pleases.”
Yonhap adds, however, that this latest test, if not confirming the abilities of North Korea’s military, does confirm their intentions of acquiring a nuclear triad. “North Korea may be in the process of developing a 3,000-ton submarine that can provide a stable platform to launch three submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) as the country is scurrying to enhance its nuclear delivery capability, military experts here said Monday.” the outlet reported, adding that the project “could carry a number of SLBMs, an armament substantial enough to pose tangible threats to the United States,” according to South Korean experts.