North Korean ballistic missile launches from submarine, explodes

North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine Saturday, but the rocket exploded soon after take-off, the South's military said.

The submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) was fired off the east coast city of Sinpo Saturday around 11:30 am (0230 GMT), Yonhap News Agency reported, citing Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"The SLBM was ejected from the submarine normally, but (we) estimate the initial flight was unsuccessful," the military was quoted as saying in a brief press release.

The missile appeared to have been launched from a submerged 2,000-ton Sinpo-class submarine, before exploding at around 10 kilometres altitude, Yonhap reported, citing unnamed military sources.

Ballistic missile launches are a violation of UN resolutions on North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

Capacity to launch successfully from a submarine could further extend the effective range of the isolated regime's nuclear weapons.

A launch from a submarine on April 23 also failed when the missile disintegrated after 30 kilometres.

The latest launch may have not been intended to fly further, but may have been a test only of the initial stage flight capability, Yonhap said, citing the military source.

It came a day after Washington and Seoul agreed to install a battery of the US missile defence system in South Korea, with a view to countering ballistic missile launches from North Korea.

Last update: Sat, 09/07/2016 - 11:25
Author: 

More from World

South Korean parliament votes to impeach corruption-tainted president

South Korea's National Assembly on Friday voted to impeach President Park Geun Hye, who has been dogged by...

US not allowed to launch South China Sea patrols from the Philippines

Manila will not allow the United States to launch naval and aerial patrols in the disputed South China Sea from the...

Clinton: Fake news is an "epidemic" and a threat to safety

Hillary Clinton said Thursday that an "epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda" presented a threat to...

US astronaut John Glenn - "ultimate hometown hero" - dies at age 95

Former astronaut and US senator John Glenn, who shot to fame in 1962 as the first American to orbit the Earth, died...

Gambian president-elect says he will reverse decision to leave ICC

Gambia will reverse its decision to leave the International Criminal Court, president-elect Adama Barrow announced...