North Korea carried out a successful ballistic missile firing test near one of its submarine bases on Wednesday, South Korean military officials said.
The test came after the U.S. and South Korea started military drills two days ago, much to the disliking of North Korea which condemned the exercises.
The US Strategic Command said it believed the missile to be a KN-11 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
According to reports, the missile was fired in the the city of Sinpo at around 5:30 am local time. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the missile was also the first to reach Japan’s air defense identification zone.
Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe said the test posed a threat to Japan’s security, and was an unforgivable act that damaged regional peace and stability markedly.
“I think it was probably successful. We don’t know the full range, but 500 km is either full range or a full range on a lofted trajectory. Either way, that missile works,” Jeffrey Lewis of the California-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies was quoted as saying by The Guardian.