North Korea fired submarine-launched ballistic missile

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North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile Saturday, Seoul’s military said, its second missile launch in three days and after the United States warned Pyongyang is preparing for a nuclear test.

“Our military detected around 14:07 (05:07 GMT) that a short-range ballistic missile presumed to be an SLBM fired from waters off Sinpo, South Hamgyong,” Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

It was initially reported that South Korean military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea fired an unidentified projectile into waters off its east coast Saturday. 

The latest launch comes just three days after Pyongyang last fired a missile, as warnings grow that it may conduct a nuclear test.

“North Korea fires at least one projectile into East Sea,” Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, referring to the Sea of Japan.

ALSO READ: North Korea’s tests stir nuclear debate in South

Japan’s coast guard, citing information from its Defence Ministry, said that North Korea had launched an object “likely to be a ballistic missile,” and warned its vessels to be aware.

The launch is likely the nuclear-armed country’s 15th weapons test so far this year.

On Wednesday, North Korea test-fired what Seoul and Tokyo said was a ballistic missile, although Pyongyang’s state media — which typically report on weapons tests — did not comment on the event.

Despite biting international sanctions over its weapons programs, North Korea has dramatically ramped up testing this year while ignoring the United States’ offers of talks.

The Saturday test comes just a few days before South Korea’s new hawkish President Yoon Suk-yeol is inaugurated on Tuesday.

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