South Korean officials claimed the communist country could perfect the devastating ballistic missile technology – with capability of reaching US mainland from an undetectable distance – within two to three years.
Kim Min-seok, South Korea’s defence ministry spokesman, said: “We urge North Korea to immediately stop developing submarine-launched ballistic missiles which hinder the stability of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.”
He said its isolated neighbour still needs time to develop additional equipment for the missile launcher to be fully operational.
Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defence and Security Forum and a policy adviser to the South Korean navy, added: “They need to build a new, bigger submarine.”
Just last week North Korea threatened to launch a nuclear attack on sworn enemy the US
We urge North Korea to immediately stop developing submarine-launched ballistic missiles which hinder the stability of the Korean peninsula
Launching missiles from submarines could enable Pyongyang to hide them.
It was first reported by the communist nation’s official news agency on Saturday that the country had successfully launched a rocket from a submarine.
Images showed a delighted Kim watching from nearby.
Experts said the rocket only made it 150 metres in the test
They added the particular weapon used would have a maximum reach of around 1,500 miles which would require a submarine to be at sea for around 60 to 90 days for it to be at a close enough distance to pose a threat to America.
Chinese officials also raised concern over the released images.
Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “We hope that all relevant parties can do more to ameliorate the tense situation, and jointly maintain peace and stability.”
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