North Korea may conduct underwater-launched missile test

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AP

Seoul

North Korea may soon conduct its first underwater-launched ballistic missile test in about a year, a top South Korean military official said Wednesday, amid long-stalled nuclear talks between the North and the United States.

In written remarks to lawmakers ahead of a confirmation hearing, Won In-choul, the nominee for chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said North Korea has been repairing recent typhoon damage at its northeastern Sinpo shipyard, a place where it builds
submarines.

Shortly after the repairs are complete, there is a chance it will carry out a submarine-launched ballistic missile test, Won said. He said South Korea’s military is keeping a close watch on developments there, according to a copy of his remarks provided by a lawmaker, Kang Dae-sik.

In recent years, North Korea has been pushing hard to acquire the ability to launch missiles from submarines in what experts say is a worrying development because such weapons are difficult to detect
before launch.