North Korea's Kim declares sub missile
launch 'greatest success'
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[August 25, 2016]
By Jack Kim
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un supervised the test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic
missile and declared it "the greatest success," which puts the country
in the "front rank" of nuclear military powers, official media reported
North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on
Wednesday which flew about 500 km (300 miles) towards Japan. The South
Korean government and experts said the launch showed technical progress
in the North's SLBM program.
"A test-fire of strategic submarine-launched ballistic missile was
successfully conducted under the guidance of supreme commander of the
Korean People's Army Kim Jong Un," the North's official KCNA news agency
"He appreciated the test-fire as the greatest success and victory," KCNA
"He noted with pride that the results of the test-fire proved in
actuality that the DPRK joined the front rank of the military powers
fully equipped with nuclear attack capability."
DPRK, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is North Korea's formal
North Korea has conducted a spate of military technology tests this
year, including a fourth nuclear test in January and numerous ballistic
missile launches, in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions that
were tightened in March.
North Korea said this year it had miniaturized a nuclear warhead to fit
on a ballistic missile but outside experts have said there is yet no
firm evidence to back up that claim or show it had mastered the
technology to bring a live warhead back into the atmosphere and guide it
to strike a target.
North Korean state television on Thursday showed video clips of the
launch of a missile from underwater at dawn, and still photographs of
Kim on the dock at a port as a large crane unloaded an object onto a
Kim is also seen jubilantly celebrating with military aides in
photographs carried by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper.
REACHED JAPAN DEFENCE ZONE
The Washington-based 38 North project said in a report that the missile
was launched from the North's sole experimental missile submarine and a
satellite photograph taken on Monday showed final preparations, likely
after the missile had already been loaded onto the submarine using a
heavy construction crane.
[to top of second column]
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is pictured during a test-fire of
strategic submarine-launched ballistic missile in this undated photo
released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in
Pyongyang August 25, 2016. REUTERS/KCNA
The test showed the solid-fuel missile's control and guidance system
as well as the atmospheric re-entry of the warhead all met
operational requirements, KCNA said.
The South Korean and U.S. militaries said the missile was fired from
near the coastal city of Sinpo, where a submarine base is located.
Japan said the missile reached its air defense identification zone,
the first time by a North Korean missile.
The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Wednesday at the
request of the United States and Japan to discuss the launch. Deputy
Russian U.N. Ambassador Petr Iliichev said the United States would
circulate a draft press statement.
The meeting comes after the Security Council was unable to condemn a
missile launch by the North earlier this month that landed near
Japan because China wanted the statement to also oppose the planned
deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.
China said on Wednesday that it opposes the North's nuclear and
missile programs. It had been angered by what it views as
provocative moves by the United States and South Korea on the
decision to deploy the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence)
anti-missile system in South Korea.
(Additional reporting by Minwoo Park in Seoul and Michelle Nichols
at the United Nations; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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