People watch a television news broadcast showing file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on September 15, 2021, after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea according to the South's military. Photograph:( AFP )
South Korea successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile on Wednesday, the presidential office said, becoming only the seventh country in the world with the advanced technology.
South Korea claims to have conducted its first underwater missile test, just hours after North Korea blasted two ballistic missiles into the sea.
Presidential office said in a statement that President Moon Jae-In supervised the test of a domestically-built submarine-launched ballistic missile on Wednesday afternoon.
It claims that a missile fired from a submarine of the 3,000-tonne class flew a certain distance before hitting a predetermined target.
The declaration came after South Korea detected two North Korean ballistic missile launches earlier in the day.
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North Korea launched two ballistic missiles toward the sea, defying UN resolutions for the second time in a few days, experts believe, indicating that it is forging on with its nuclear weapons development plans while nuclear talks with the US remain stuck.
The missiles were launched from central North Korea and travelled 800 kilometres (497 miles) with an apogee of 60 kilometres (37 miles) before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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Experts say the North Korean launches demonstrated that it is forging on with its nuclear-weapons development goals while attempting to exert pressure on the US to revive stalled nuclear talks.
South Korea rarely makes high-profile weapons tests public, which some experts believe might upset North Korea unnecessarily.
Observers believe Moon's government is responding to criticism that it is too soft on North Korea. Moon's government has been actively pursuing reconciliation with North Korea.
(With inputs from agencies)