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North Korea fires suspected SLBM

According to Japan's Ministry of Defense, the submarine-launched ballistic missile, which North Korea launched on 7 May, flew about 600 km before falling into the East Sea, outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. (Japan Ministry of Defense)

North Korea fired a suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) off its east coast on 7 May, defence officials in Seoul and Tokyo have said.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launch from the sea off North Korea's eastern port city of Sinpo just after 1400 h local time. It said that the missile flew 600 km at a top altitude of 60 km.

The JCS added that the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces is preparing for any additional launches and that it is ā€œtracking and monitoring related movementsā€.

Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that an SLBM fired by North Korea fell outside of the country's exclusive economic zone after travelling an estimated 600 km at an altitude of 50 km.

The MoD added that it is assessing additional details about the launch in collaboration with the US and other countries.

North Korea has not acknowledged the firing of the SLBM.

If confirmed, the firing would be North Korea's 15th missile launch event since the beginning of 2022. On 4 May also North Korea fired a medium-range ballistic missile into the East Sea. Other missiles launched this year include new versions of short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), the Hwaseong-12 intermediateā€range ballistic missile (IRBM), claimed hypersonic missiles, and the Hwaseong-17 or Hwaseong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

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