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North Korea confirms underwater missile test launch

Pyonyang said its missile launch had been a 'great success' Credit: APTN

North Korea has confirmed it conducted a submarine-launched ballistic missile test, calling the test-fire a "great success" that gives the country "one more means for powerful nuclear attack".

The South Korean military had earlier reported that Pyonyang had fired a missile from a submarine on its east coast, but said it was trying to determine whether the launch had been a success.

It [the missile launch] fully confirmed and reinforced the reliability of the Korean-style underwater launching system and perfectly met all technical requirements for carrying out ... underwater attack operation.

– North Korean news agency KCNA

The US Strategic Command said it had detected and tracked a North Korean submarine missile launch but it did not pose a threat to North America.

France called on the EU to unilaterally adopt additional sanctions on North Korea if the missile launch was confirmed.

North Korea 'fires submarine-based missile'

North Korea has reportedly fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile, according to South Korea.

The South's office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile had been fired off the North's east coast at around 6.30pm local time (10.30am BST).

It comes amid fears that the North may conduct further nuclear tests ahead of a rare meeting of its ruling Workers' Party in May - the first such congress in 36 years.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the missile flew "for a few minutes", but had no further details.

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