South Korea says no plans to introduce nuclear submarines

02 September 2016, 01:39 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Jeffery Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program for the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, says it could be possible considering the regime has deployed its SS-N-6 SLBM as a land-based Musudan missile before.

The statement was drafted by the United States and supported by China, an ally of North Korea.

On Wednesday, North Korea test fired a submarine-based ballistic missile from its eastern coast days after the US and South Korea began their annual military exercises.

The UN Security Council in a press statement Friday denounced North Korea's recent missile tests in a unanimous decision.

South Korean officials said the submarine-launched missile flew about 500 kilometers, the longest distance achieved by the North for such a weapon.

"Now that the United States posed threats to the dignity and the right to existence of the DPRK (North Korea) defying its serious warning, it will continue to take a series of eventful action steps as a full-fledged military power", the spokesman said.

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The launch was immediately slammed by neighbors Japan, South Korea and China, who pledged to enhance their cooperation in dealing with Pyongyang during a meeting in Tokyo.

Acquiring the ability to launch missiles from submarines would be an alarming development because missiles fired from submerged vessels are harder to detect in advance. The UN called the test a "grave violation" of resolutions that ban the Communist country from testing such ballistic missiles.

North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons development programs have brought heavy worldwide sanctions down on its head, but Pyongyang says they are justified because of the threat posed by the USA and South Korea.

The adoption of a joint statement came two days after the North test-fired an SLBM from waters off the eastern port city of Sinpo on Wednesday morning, which demonstrated a considerable upgrade in the North's SLBM capability compared to its previous tests, all of which were deemed failures by the South Korean military.

The members of the Council went on to stress the importance of working to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and agreed to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures in line with its previously expressed determination.

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