North Korea said on Wednesday that it has “successfully” conducted a test-firing of a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) a day earlier. It marked the North’s eighth known major missile test this year, Yonhap news agency reported.
“The new SLBM will greatly contribute to our country’s defense technology advancement and the Navy’s underwater operational capabilities,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not inspect the firing.
On Tuesday, South Korea’s military had said that the North fired a short-range missile believed to be an SLBM from the vicinity of Sinpo, where its main submarine shipyard is located.
The US remains ready to engage with North Korea anytime and anywhere, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said, adding that North Korea’s missile tests underscored the urgent need to engage with the reclusive state.
“These launches also underscore the urgent need for dialogue and diplomacy. Our offer remains to meet anywhere, anytime without preconditions,” the White House Press Secretary told a daily press briefing.
“We call on the DPRK to refrain from further provocations and engage in sustained and substantive dialogue,” she added, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The State Department earlier condemned the latest North Korean missile test, calling it a “violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.”
North Korea remains unresponsive to US overtures. It has also stayed away from talks with the US since early 2019.
Psaki reaffirmed the US commitment to working with its allies while also reiterating US commitment to the defence of South Korea and Japan.
“Our commitment to the defence of the Republic of Korea and Japan remains ironclad,” said Psaki, referring to South Korea by its official name.
Her remarks came after US Special Representative for North Korea, Sung Kim met trilaterally with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Washington earlier in the day.
“So we remain prepared to engage in diplomacy with North Korea, and also, of course, to work closely with our allies and partners on addressing this as it proceeds,” the White House press secretary said.
(With IANS inputs)