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>> North Korea's unceasing weapons parade looks to be making headway. Pyeongchang launching a ballistic missile from a submarine on Wednesday, the rocket travelling for 300 miles clear into a patch of ocean under Japanese airspace. Experts say that shows a clear step up in North Korea's rocketry game, after a previous attempt to launch a rocket from a sub failed two months ago.
Beyond pure muscle flexing, the launch may have been about prestige, only six countries have mastered submarine launched ballistic missiles, including the US, Russia, and China. It could also be a call for respect. Coming the same day that foreign ministers from South Korea, China, and Japan meet in Tokyo and just two days after Washington in Seoul began joint military exercises.
Pyeongchang calls the drills practice for an invasion and has threatened retaliation. Experts say it may now want to procure a whole fleet of nuclear-ready subs with an even longer range that could potentially evade surveillance. According to many observers, there's no firm evidence that North Korea is able to arm rockets with nuclear warheads.
But these kind of weapons benchmarks have been tested hard and fast on a near monthly basis this year. And the world is taking notice. The UN has hit Pyeongchang with harsh sanctions. And a US-backed anti-missile system will soon be rolled out in the south.