South Korea ‘watching out for signs of possible missile test by North’
South Korea has warned that the North may be preparing to test-fire a submarine-launched ballistic missile following the issuance by Pyongyang of a no-sail zone off its east coast for almost one month.
A South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman said on Monday that Seoul is “closely watching the situation… and closely monitoring related factors from a military standpoint.”
South Korean officials were quoted by a local news agency on Sunday as saying that Pyongyang will keep a wide area off the coastal city of Wonsan off-limits from November 11 to December 7.
Since August, Pyongyang has reportedly been imposing a no-navigation zone in the waters every month and held military exercises, which included deploying rocket-launchers on the coastal area. It, however, has not launched a missile so far.
Pyongyang regularly test-fires short-range missiles into the East Sea as part of scheduled military drills. It is under UN sanctions over launching missiles considered by the US and South Korea as ballistic and aimed at delivering nuclear warheads, but Pyongyang says its numerous missile tests seek to boost defense capabilities in the face of enemy threats.