PENTAGON / SEOUL - The U.S. and Japan are calling the recent North Korean missile launch "unnecessarily provocative" just days ahead of working-level nuclear talks with the United States.
North Korea tested a ballistic missile Wednesday that was designed to be launched from a submarine — an important advancement in Pyongyang’s weapons program.
"This morning, the Secretary had a call with Japanese Minister of Defense (Taro) Kono where they discussed North Korea. They both agreed that the North Korea tests are unnecessarily provocative and do not set the stage for diplomacy and that North Korea should cease these tests," chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters at a briefing Thursday.
The Korean Central News Agency on Thursday claimed a successful test of the “new-type” submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM, which it dubbed “Pukguksong-3.” KCNA pictures showed the missile emerging from the sea after apparently being launched from an underwater platform.
Col. Pat Ryder, the spokesman for the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Thursday briefing that North Korea fired a "short-to-medium-range ballistic missile" from the Wonsan Bay that flew 450 kilometers (280 miles) into the Sea of Japan.
"We have no indication that it was launched from a submarine, but rather a sea-based platform," added Ryder.
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