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Cheong Wa Dae says N. Korea seems to have fired SLBM

South Korea's National Security Council expressed strong concern Wednesday about North Korea's test of what is believed to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

In connection with North Korea's firing of a projectile earlier in the day, the NSC is placing "weight on the possibility" that it was a SLBM test, Cheong Wa Dae said.

It was giving a briefing on the results of an emergency NSC standing committee session, presided over by Chung Eui-yong, head of the national security office.


In the videoconferencing session, the panel's members voiced "strong concern" over the North's move that came just ahead of the resumption of its working-level talks with the United States, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

They agreed to conduct a precise analysis of the projectile's characteristics and Pyongyang's intention through close coordination between the intelligence authorities of South Korea and the US, it added.

They also decided to make diplomatic efforts so that the upcoming Washington-Pyongyang negations can be successful and conducive to substantive progress for the complete denuclearization of Korea and establishment of lasting peace.

The North's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui announced earlier this week that the two sides will have talks Saturday, a day after a bilateral "preliminary" meeting. The US confirmed that such talks will take place within a week, but both sides did not provide other details, including the venue.

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North launched an unidentified ballistic missile eastward from "the sea northeast of Wonsan, Gangwon Province, at around 7:11 a.m."

It's presumed to be a "Pukguksong-type" SLBM, having flown about 450 kilometers at an apogee of some 910 km, the JCS said. (Yonhap)