South Korean parliament on Monday raised its concerns over North Korea’s test-firing of submarine-launched ballistic missiles which the Pyongyang leadership announced on Saturday to have been carrying out, and urged the North to terminate such activities.
"We urge North Korea to immediately stop developing SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles), which hinder the stability of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia," said South Korea’s Defence Ministry spokesman after Pyongyang’s official announcement on Saturday
The South’s government called the parliament for an urgent meeting at the National Assembly on Monday to discuss North Korea’s recent underwater test-fires of ballistic missiles.
Previously, North Korea had exercised tests of ballistic missiles, but the recent one raised the South’s concerns since it was fired from submarines.
Pyongyang was believed to have been developing missile technologies under the autocratic leadership of Kim Jong-un, but it had only tested missiles on land and sea platforms.
Pyongyang is supposedly to have 70 to 90 submarines, all of which are scraped Soviet-era vessels.
Most of them are limited in ability and cannot be equipped with ballistic missiles, but the North’s new generation submarines are able to carry at least three missiles with warheads.
North Korea’s new submarines, capable of carrying ballistic missiles and deployed at the end of last year, was then signalled another step forward in the development of nuclear weapons in the greater Asia-Pacific region.
South Korean authorities remarked the upcoming military threat as the tension gradually increases with the North.
"Many people are saying that we can't stop the threats with our defence systems,” Yoo Seung-min, floor leader of the South’s ruling Saenuri party was quoted as saying by Channel News Asia.
“I believe there needs to be an overall review of our missile defence systems, and re-establish the current strategy," he added.
South Korean government intended to spend about 8 billion dollars over five years in order to cope with the North Korea’s missile threats starting from 2016 onwards.
Pyongyang is one of the nine nuclear-armed nations and among the four countries which have never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Trearty (NPT).
China has transferred nuclear technologies to North Korea when the country was divided after the Korean War of 1950-52 and aligned itself with the Soviet-Chinese communist bloc during the Cold War era.