World / North Korea fires ballistic missile into waters off Japan

Zoom News : Oct 19, 2021, 03:16 PM
Seoul: North Korea on Tuesday launched an unidentified projectile which was later termed a submarine-launched ballistic missile by the South Korean military, according to news agencies reporting on the development. The development comes in the wake of a series of missile tests conducted by Pyongyang in recent weeks apparently aimed at pressuring the United States and its ally, South Korea, amid stalled talks over nuclear diplomacy.

The North Korean ‘projectile’ was fired into the sea east of the Korean peninsula, reported the AFP news agency citing South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff. Seoul, however, provided no further details immediately after the incident, the agency added.

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency independently reported, citing the Japan coast guard, that North Korea has fired a “possible missile”.

Later, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing the country's Joint Chiefs of Staff, that North Korea fired a submarine launched ballistic missile in its latest missile test on Tuesday.

The Associated Press said that Seoul has declined to immediately comment officially on the exact nature of the projectile that North Korea fired or how far it flew.

Nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled for more than two years over disagreements in exchanging the release of crippling US-led sanctions against North Korea and the North’s denuclearisation steps.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to strengthen his nuclear deterrent since his diplomatic fallout with former US president Donald Trump. However, Pyongyang has so far rejected the current Biden administration’s offers to restart dialogue without preconditions, saying that Washington must first abandon its “hostile policy,” a term the North mainly uses to refer to sanctions and US-South Korea military exercises.

Meanwhile, ending a months-long lull, the country has been ramping up its weapons tests since September while making conditional peace offers to Seoul, reviving a pattern of pressuring South Korea to get what it wants from the United States.