North Korea extolls ‘victorious’ missile launch; Kim Jong Un plans new subs

SEOUL, Aug. 25 (UPI) — North Korea‘s SLBM test emerged as the focus of Pyongyang’s media on Thursday as the country appeared to be building on its success with the construction of new submarines.

The launch of the ballistic missile from submarine in a coastal area near Sinpo, South Hamgyong Province, aired on KCTV at noon, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

The footage lasted nearly two minutes and included a countdown segment and a caption in large letters that read “Launch.”

The video showed the North Korean missile roaring into the atmosphere in a burst of flames and included shots from several angles, according to South Korea press.

Prime broadcasting time in North Korea is from 5 to 11 p.m., and it is unusual for Pyongyang to air a special segment outside of those hours.

Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, said the state is looking to cement “solidarity” in the wake of the defection of senior North Korean diplomat Thae Yong Ho.

“While promoting the performance [of the SLBM], [the launch] is also responding to joint U.S.-South Korea military drills,” Kim said.

North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun published a total of 24 photographs of the SLBM test launch, including several photographs of Kim Jong Un celebrating the launch with senior military officials.

The missile included grid fins to adjust and control the missile’s flight altitude, and the Korean word for “Polaris” could be seen inscribed on its surface.

North Korea’s media celebrated the launch as a victory and on Thursday KCNA stated Kim Jong Un “has a direct tight grasp on the construction of powerful strategic submarines and ballistic missiles, owing to the dedication of his labor and heart to the tenacious push” for their development.

The submarine North Korea deployed for the test launch of SLBMs is believed to be the 2,000-ton Sinpo-class submarine, modeled after Soviet submarines from the ’90s, according to Yonhap.

North Korea may be developing new submarines that can escape detection for longer periods than the current model, according to South Korea press.

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