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North Korea Fires Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Into The Sea

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North Korea Fires Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Into The Sea

North Korea has performed a test-fire of what is believed to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

As per the BBC, the missile was reportedly fired near to the eastern port of Sinpo, and would represent the first time that North Korea has fired directly from a submarine, meaning they may have added a new weapon to their arsenal.

According to military reports from South Korea, the launch took place at around 10:17am local time, and the missile itself landed in the ocean off the east coast of North Korea.

They said that a single 'ballistic missile' was fired, before it flew for an unspecific distance, then crashed down in the East Sea, otherwise known as the Sea of Japan.

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North Korea has never launched from a sub before. Credit: Alamy
North Korea has never launched from a sub before. Credit: Alamy

Whilst we can't be exactly sure how the missile was launched, the fact that it came from near to the North's main submarine building shipyard suggests they might have struck upon new technology, as they've never been known to have tested a missile from a submarine before now.

They've fired submarine-launched ballistic missiles before, but only from submerged platforms rather than from actual submarines.

That one previous underwater launch took place in 2019, but this latest one - if confirmed - could show that dictator Kim Jong-Un has added yet another nuclear weapon to the country's growing arsenal.

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Recently, China also reportedly tested a new hypersonic nuclear weapon, although they have denied this, stating it was a civilian spacecraft.

A North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile paraded in 2020. Credit: Alamy
A North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile paraded in 2020. Credit: Alamy

Experts believe China could have been testing out an adapted version of old Soviet Union technology called FOBS - which stands for Fractional Orbital Bombardment System - which is supposed to evade missile detection systems and other defence technology.

Thankfully, the Soviet Union never actually managed to build the system, which allows for missiles to be launched into orbit above the earth before crashing down to cause untold havoc, but it is suspected that several world powers are currently trying to create such a weapon.

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According to reports, the missile travelled at 27 times the speed of sound, went once around the earth, then crashed into a target in China, missing it by around 40 kilometres.

The fact it travels so fast makes it even more difficult to detect.

A statue of Kim Jong-Il. Credit: Alamy
A statue of Kim Jong-Il. Credit: Alamy

Speaking about the North Korean suspected submarine launch, the joint Chiefs of Staff for South Korea said: "Our military is closely monitoring the situation and maintaining readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States, to prepare for possible additional launches."

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A national security council meeting has been scheduled for later in the day by the South Korean presidential office.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: World News, kim jong-un, North Korea

Tom Wood
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