North Korea Test Fires Submarine-Launched Missile, U.S. Says

PHOTO: A man watches a TV news program showing a file footage of a missile launch conducted by North Korea, at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, April 23, 2016. PlayLee Jin-man/AP Photo
WATCH U.S. Says North Korean Missile Test Failed

North Korea test fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile off its eastern coast Saturday, the latest provocation by Pyongyang.

In a statement to ABC News, the U.S. military's Strategic Command said it had tracked what it assessed to be a North Korean missile launch at 4:29 a.m. CT out of the Sea of Japan, saying the missile never posed a threat to North America. No details on how far it traveled were immediately available.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the launch occurred out of Sinpo, South Hamgyeong Province, from a 2,000 ton submarine.

Analysts said the test launch shows North Korea has succeeded in developing "cold launch" technology, which means it can fire a ballistic missile vertically from a submarine. It's not clear yet whether the U.S. government considers the test successful.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said today the launch was a violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.

"We call on North Korea to refrain from actions that further destabilize the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its commitments and international obligations," Kirby said. "The United States remains steadfast in its commitments to the defense of its allies."

North Korea failed last week in its attempted firing of a mobile-launched intermediate range Musudan missile.

"It was a fiery, catastrophic attempt at a launch that was unsuccessful," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said last Friday.

In January, North Korea tested a low yield, underground nuclear device. American officials discounted North Korea's claim it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

That was followed by a launch in February of a long-range rocket that succeeded in placing a satellite in orbit. The U.S. has seen North Korea's satellite launches as attempts to develop their long-range missile capability to strike the U.S.