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North Korea Fires Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile, U.S. Condemns Action

KN-11 Launch. North Korean Central News Agency Photo

KN-11 Launch. North Korean Central News Agency Photo

A North Korean submarine successfully launched a ballistic missile on Tuesday, U.S. Pacific Command officials confirmed in a late Tuesday statement.

The unidentified submarine launched what’s believed to be a KN-11 ballistic missile, Cmdr. Dave Benham told USNI News in a statement.

“U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) systems detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean submarine missile launch at 3:29 p.m. CDT, August 23, 2016,” Benham said.
“The missile was tracked over and into the Sea of Japan, approximately 300 miles off the coast of North Korea. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.”

The U.S. condemned the action.

“We strongly condemn this and North Korea’s other recent missile tests, which violate UN Security Council Resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology,” he said.

The launch comes during the annual U.S.- South Korea Ulchi Freedom Guardian bilateral military exercise which began earlier this week.

North Korea, which sees the exercise as provocative and threatened a nuclear response to the drills if the U.S. and South Korea, “show the slightest sign of aggression,” reported CNN.

The following is the complete Aug. 23, 2016 statement from PACOM.

U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) systems detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean submarine missile launch at 3:29 p.m. CDT, August 23, 2016. The launch of a presumed KN-11 submarine-launched ballistic missile occurred off the coast of Sinpo. The missile was tracked over and into the Sea of Japan, approximately 300 miles off the coast of North Korea. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.

We strongly condemn this and North Korea’s other recent missile tests, which violate UN Security Council Resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology.

This provocation only serves to increase the international community’s resolve to counter the DPRK’s prohibited activities, including through implementing existing UN Security Council sanctions. Multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions require the DPRK to suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program. We intend to raise our concerns at the UN to bolster international resolve in holding the DPRK accountable for these actions.

Our commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, is ironclad. We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation. We call on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its commitments and international obligations.

 

Categories: Aviation, Foreign Forces, News & Analysis, Submarine Forces
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.