SNAPSHOTS

What to Make of North Korea’s Suspected Submarine Missile Test

MIN READOct 19, 2021 | 15:51 GMT

A man watches a television showing file footage of a North Korean missile test on Oct. 19, 2021, in Seoul, South Korea.
A man watches a television showing file footage of a North Korean missile test on Oct. 19, 2021, in Seoul, South Korea.

(ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

With the suspected launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, North Korea may have succeeded in threading the needle to increase its battlefield capabilities while still keeping open the possibility of talks with South Korea. North Korea appears to have successfully tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) off its east coast on Oct. 19, a month after South Korea launched its first SLBM. Initial assessments suggest the missile may have been launched from a North Korean submarine, as opposed to the submerged barge used in previous tests. If confirmed, this test would mark a major step in Pyongyang’s long journey to develop an SLBM capability, a key component of its national defense and specifically its nuclear deterrence strategy. ...

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