The U.S. State Department has urged North Korea to refrain from actions that raise regional tensions after Pyongyang said it had successfully test-fired a submarine-based ballistic missile.
The State Department said launches using ballistic missile technology are "a clear violation" of U.N. Security Council resolutions. North Korea is under U.N. sanctions banning it from developing or using ballistic missile technology.
South Korean military officials said North Korea also test-fired three anti-ship cruise missiles into the sea, one day after warning it would strike South Korean vessels without notice if they intruded into the North's territorial waters.
Officials in Seoul said those missiles were fired over the span of about an hour Saturday from an area near the eastern port city of Wonsan.
The North's official KCNA news agency said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the submarine-based missile test and personally issued the order to begin it. Kim said the launching was "an eye-opening success" and "highly praised" the scientists and technicians "for having successfully perfected the technology" of firing a ballistic missile from a submarine underwater, KCNA said.
The KCNA report did not reveal the time, date and location of the test or the range of the missile.
Analysts are divided on just how much progress North Korea has actually made with its submarine-based ballistic missile development program, citing the country's antiquated stock of submarines.