South Korea warns of underwater missile test launch by North Korea

A top South Korean military commander warned lawmakers Wednesday that North Korea could be planning to test a ballistic missile launched via submarine.

The Associated Press reported that Won In-choul, who has been nominated to serve as the next head of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that South Korea’s military was watching the Sinpo shipyard in the northeastern part of the country, which he added recently suffered typhoon damage.

Any test would likely come from a submersible barge that North Korea has used in the past to test submarine-based weapons systems, a move thought to be aimed at avoiding provocation with the United States, North Korean military experts told the AP.

The U.S. and North Korea have largely remained at arm’s length in recent months following the breakdown of nuclear talks between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, though neither side has returned to the hawkish rhetoric that dominated the early months of Trump’s presidency.

Trump has said in the past that he is open to the option of using force against North Korea should military provocations deem it necessary.

Trump revived his nickname for Kim, “Rocket Man,” late last year after North Korea’s government conducted a rocket engine test from a satellite launch site within the country.

“He definitely likes sending up rockets, doesn’t he,” Trump said in December following the latest test. “That’s why I call him Rocket Man.” 

Tags Donald Trump Kim Jong Un Missile test North Korea South Korea

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