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ROK says DPRK's test-fire of submarine missile 'serious challenge'

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-12 17:27

SEOUL - The Republic of Korea's President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday described the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s test-firing of a ballistic missile from a submarine as a "serious challenge" to its security and regional stability, the presidential office said.

"North Korea (DPRK)'s development of the submarine-launched ballistic missile is a serious challenge undermining stability in East Asia as well as on the Korean Peninsula," Park said during a meeting of senior security officials.

Attending the meeting were ministers of foreign affairs, defense and unification, and intelligence agency chief as well as senior presidential secretaries for security and foreign affairs.

Park stressed that UN Security Council resolutions have banned all launches based on the DPRK's ballistic missile technology and all activities linked to the DPRK's ballistic missile program.

The meeting was held for the first time in about a year as the DPRK said Saturday that it succeeded in test-firing a ballistic missile from a submarine.

The DPRK's submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) was believed to be tested in an initial phase as the missile flied just 100-150 meters, indicating that it was an ejection test, not a full flight test.

However, the full-developed SLBM, which was estimated to take four to five years, would become a real threat as the existing surveillance assets and missiles, held by the ROK, are very hard to detect the underwater-moving DPRK submarine and strike missiles from the sub.

To alleviate growing public concerns over the DPRK missile threats, President Park said that if the "Kill Chain" and the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD), which the ROK's military is building as its own missile defense program, are complemented, it would be "sufficient" to tackle the DPRK's missile threats.

Park instructed the security officials to thoroughly prepare for possible DPRK provocations, maintain a strong US-ROK alliance to deter provocations and further strengthen coordination efforts with international society.

For two straight days to Saturday, the DPRK warned of "direct aimed strikes without any prior notice" against any ROK's navy patrol ships, which the DPRK accused of violating the disputed western sea border.

The DPRK's southwestern front command issued the warning Friday, saying 17 naval boats of the ROK intruded into its territorial waters in the past seven days.

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