North Korea fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile, South Korea said on Wednesday.

This comes a days before the United States and North Korea were to resume long-stalled nuclear talks, according to the AFP.

The Asian country usually combines diplomatic overtures with military moves to maintain pressure on negotiating partners, analysts said.

The United States raised the alarm with a State Department spokesperson calling on North Korea “to refrain from provocations” and “remain engaged in substantive and sustained negotiations” aimed at bringing stability and denuclearisation.

A proven submarine-based missile capability would take the North’s arsenal to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and a second-strike capability in the event of an attack on its military bases.

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected a ballistic missile early on Wednesday fired in an easterly direction from the sea, North-East of the North Korean port of Wonsan.

The missile was “believed to be one of the Pukkuksong models”, the JCS said in a statement, referring to a line of submarine-launched ballistic missiles under development by the North.

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