Tensions on the Korean peninsula rose on Wednesday as North Korea and South Korea conducted missile tests within hours of each other.
As well as statements of military readiness, the launches also represent technological breakthroughs. North Korea’s ballistic missile launch is its first known rail-based test, a method that makes it more difficult for an adversary to track and destroy missile sites. While South Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) makes it only the eighth country—along with China, France, India, North Korea, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—to declare that kind of underwater-launch capability, and the first non-nuclear armed state to do so. (Israel is also widely believed to have a nuclear SLBM capability.)
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