SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper said Friday that this week's test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) represents a "grave statement" to hostile forces, calling the weapon a "time bomb" and the "most fearful dagger" for its enemies.
On Thursday, North Korea claimed that its test-firing of a new-type SLBM Pukguksong-3 a day earlier had been successful, adding that it "ushered in a new phase in containing the outside forces' threat" to the communist state.
It was the North's 11th weapons test so far this year and the first SLBM test since August 2016. It also came ahead of a resumption of nuclear talks with Washington this weekend, apparently aimed at increasing its negotiating leverage.
"The Pukguksong is not just a demonstration of our conventional weapon but a powerful statement to (North) Korean people and a grave statement to violent reactionaries bent on turning the flow of history around," the Rodong Sinmun said.
"The Pukguksong is now looking over hostile forces currently hunkering down in dark caves. It is a time bomb hanging behind their back and the most fearful dagger that will destruct all enemies," the paper added.
The North's SLBM program is considered one of the biggest threats to the U.S. and its allies, as it could extend the range of the North's nuclear missiles and such a missile is hard to detect in advance before it emerges from the water.
U.S. President Donald Trump has played down the North's previous weapons tests involving short-range projectiles, saying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is not breaking his promise not to test nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. Trump has not commented on the latest SLBM testing.
North Korea and the U.S. are expected to resume working-level denuclearization talks Saturday after talks have been stalled since the no-deal summit in February between Trump and Kim. The two sides are likely to hold preliminary contact for the talks Friday in Stockholm.
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