0226 GMT May 21, 2022
South Korean and U.S. officials were investigating if the missile was a smaller, previously unseen version displayed last week at an exhibit in Pyongyang, a South Korean military source told Reuters, citing ongoing analysis.
They were also examining whether the missile was fired from North Korea’s experimental Gorae-class submarine, he added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The launch, reported by officials in South Korea and Japan, came after U.S. and South Korean envoys met in Washington on Monday to discuss the nuclear standoff with the North.
The launch is the latest weapons test by North Korea, which has persisted with military development despite international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement the missile was launched at about 10:17 a.m. from the sea in the vicinity of Sinpo, where North Korea keeps submarines as well as equipment for test firing SLBMs.
It was not immediately clear if the missile was fired from a submarine or from a submersible test barge, as in most previous tests. A military source said it flew about 430km to 450km (267 to 280 miles) to a maximum altitude of 60km (37 miles).
North Korea’s last SLBM test was in October 2019, when a Pukguksong-3 missile was fired from an underwater platform, flying 450km to a maximum altitude of 910km.