Sep 16, 2021 - World

North Korea tests rail-based missile system in latest launch

An image of North Korea's railway-borne missile system launched on Wednesday.
An image of North Korea's "railway-borne missile system" launched on Wednesday. Photo: North Korea's Korean Central News Agency

North Korea tested a new "railway-borne missile system" during its latest launch on Wednesday, adding another option for its ballistic missile program, according to North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Why it matters: North Korea's new system was tested during a flurry of missile launches around the Korean Peninsula, where South Korea successfully operated its submarine-launched ballistic missile system for the first time.

  • South Korea's test of its submarine missile system drew scorn from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's powerful sister, Kim Yo-jong, who said the test threatened a “complete destruction” of bilateral relations between the two countries, according to AP.
  • With the test, South Korea became the first non-nuclear state to develop and test a submarine-launched missile system.

The big picture: North Korea's train-based ballistic missile flew for around 497 miles before striking a target in the sea off North Korea's east coast, according to state media.

  • It came after the nuclear-armed country had tested new long-range cruise missiles over the weekend and two ballistic missiles earlier on Wednesday.
  • The competing missile launches complicate a July pledge between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to improve relations and resume previously suspended communication channels between the two countries.

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