Russia has no intel suggesting impending N. Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile test

In this Dec. 16, 2019, photo, South Korean army soldiers stand guard at the Unification Bridge, which leads to the Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone in Paju, South Korea. The U.S. is closely watching North Korea for signs of a possible missile launch or nuclear test in the coming days that officials are referring to as a “Christmas surprise.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Sep 20, 2020, Yonhap. Russia does not have any intelligence suggesting that North Korea is preparing to test-fire a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), a Moscow foreign ministry official has said amid speculation that Pyongyang could conduct a test next month, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Petr Ilichev, director of the department of international organizations at the Russian foreign ministry, said in an interview with the country’s RIA Novosti news agency on Saturday that his country does not have any information of a possible North Korean SLBM test launch next month.

There has been speculation that the North could test-fire an SLBM or undertake other weapons provocations on the occasion of the founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party on Oct. 10, which could be a new strategic weapon that leader Kim Jong-un pledged to show off in his New Year’s Day message.

Ilichev stated that analysis on such a sensitive matter should be made cautiously, arguing that similar speculations in the past have often been made with political motives.

The Russian official also noted that if the North goes forward with a military provocation, it will only worsen the situation for the country, citing past strengthening of sanctions over military provocations.

North Korea is under multiple U.S. and U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions banning the testing of nuclear and ballistic missile technology.

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