The Yonhap news agency reported on Saturday, just days before US Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit, that South Korea’s military has found indications that North Korea may be getting ready to test a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
According to a South Korean military source who asked to remain nameless and was quote by Yonhap, the military discovered preparations this week in Sinpo, South Hamgyong Province, North Korea.
This is consistent with a research release this week by a US-base think organization that use commercial satellite images.
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On Saturday, South Korea’s presidential office stated that President Yoon Suk-yeol is aware of indications and actions that may point to North Korean provocations, including SLBMs.
Next week, US Vice President Harris will go to the area and have meetings with South Korea and Japan presidents.
Although they had no forecasts or announcements to make, a senior US administration official said at a briefing on Friday that a nuclear test or other provocation was likely during Harris’ visit to the area.
For the first time in about four years, a US aircraft carrier landed in South Korea on Friday, joining other military ships to participate in joint exercises with South Korean soldiers.
North Korea has blasted previous US military deployments and joint exercises as preparations for war and proof of hostile policies by Washington and Seoul.