The test was a response to “joint military exercises” between the US and its allies.
January 18, 2024, 10:39 p.m. ET
• 3 min reading
North Korea conducted a test of its underwater nuclear weapons system in response to “joint military exercises” by the United States, Japan and South Korea, state news agency Korean Central News Agency said on Friday.
The three countries' “joint naval exercises,” which took place in the waters around Jeju Island, “led to further destabilization of the regional situation” and posed a “serious threat” to North Korea's security, according to an unnamed North Korean spokesman Ministry of Defense, according to KCNA.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the 10th session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang, North Korea, on January 15, 2024. (KCNA via Portal)KCNA/via Portal
As a countermeasure to the “serious threat,” North Korea tested its developing “Haeil 5-23” system in the waters of the East Sea, according to KCNA.
It is unclear how long the system has been in development.
Last summer, North Korea test-fired a series of intercontinental ballistic missiles that fell into the East Sea in a “clear violation” of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
According to the Associated Press, U.S., South Korean and Japanese militaries conducted joint naval exercises this week involving the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
ABC News' Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.