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Seoul says North Korea tested a possible submarine missile

Posted at 2:35 AM, Oct 19, 2021

South Korea's military says North Korea has fired at least one ballistic missile into the sea, in what was likely a weapon designed for a submarine-based launch.

According to CNN, the launch took place at about 10 a.m. local time, or about 9 p.m. ET on Monday.

The test-firing would mark possibly the most significant demonstration of the North's military might since President Joe Biden took office.

Tuesday's launch came hours after the U.S. reaffirmed its offer to resume diplomacy on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, underscoring that the North continues to expand its military capabilities amid a pause in diplomacy.

North Korea last tested an SLBM in October 2019. North Korea has been ramping up its weapons tests while making conditional peace offers to Seoul, reviving a pattern of pressuring South Korea to try to get what it wants from the United States.

According to the BBC, the test may violate international sanctions. According to the outlet, the UN considers ballistic missiles to be more threatening than cruise missiles because they carry more powerful payloads and have longer ranges.

Japan also denounced Tuesday's test.

"North Korea's latest actions threaten the peace and security of Japan and the region," Japan's Deputy Secretary General Yoshihiko Isozaki said, according to CNN. "Furthermore, the continued ballistic missile launches pose a serious challenge not just for Japan but for the entire international community."