Pentagon says North Korea missile launched from 'sea-based platform' not submarine

North Korea announced on Oct 2, 2019, that it had test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile that it said marked a "new phase" in its defence capability. PHOTO: AFP
North Korea announced on Oct 2 that it had test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile that it said marked a "new phase" in its defence capability. PHOTO: DPA

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon said on Thursday (Oct 3) that a missile tested by North Korea seems to have been launched from a "sea-based platform" and not a submarine.

North Korea announced the day before that it had successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile that it said marked a "new phase" in its defence capability.

"We assess that it was a short- to medium-range ballistic missile. And I would say that we have no indication that it was launched from a submarine but rather a sea-based platform," military spokesman Colonel Pat Ryder told reporters.

US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper spoke to his Japanese counterpart on Thursday to discuss the launch, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told a press briefing.

"They both agreed that the North Korea tests are unnecessarily provocative and do not set the stage for diplomacy and that North Korea should cease these tests," Mr Hoffman said.

A proven submarine-based missile capability would take the North's arsenal to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and a second-strike capability in the event of an attack on its military bases.

The launch came ahead of the planned resumption of working-level talks between Pyongyang and Washington which is slated for later this week in an undisclosed location.

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