North Korea’s recent missile test was not launched from a submarine, as initially reported, but rather from a barge or underwater platform, U.S. officials told Fox News on Wednesday.
Concerns over whether the Hermit Kingdom fired a ballistic missile from a submarine rose after officials announced the test on Tuesday. The missile - launched just days ahead of scheduled resumption of nuclear talks with the United States this weekend - flew about 280 miles and reached a maximum altitude of 565 miles, South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo told lawmakers.
The launch also comes more than two months after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was photographed at a shipyard where a submarine is being modified to carry a ballistic missile similar to what other U.S. officials say was test-fired.
North Korea conducted a similar test from the sea three years ago. The nation does not have operational submarines that can carry ballistic missiles in its small fleet.
North Korea has been trying to develop the ability to fire ballistic missiles from submarines, which are harder to detect in advance. However, testing appeared to have been tabled amid talks with Washington.
Some experts have said North Korea is attempting to raise the stakes and ramp up pressure on the United States before their nuclear negotiators meet on Saturday.
"The North is trying to convey a message that time is not on the side of the United States and that it could take a different path if the working-level talks don't go the way it wanted," said Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Talks have been stalled since February when President Trump and Kim walked away from their second summit without a deal. Kim wanted sanctions relief in exchange for partial disarmament.
Earlier this week, ousted National Security Adviser John Bolton openly criticized the Trump administration’s policy toward North Korea, saying Kim “will never give up the nuclear weapons voluntarily.”
While it’s unclear how Trump will respond to North Korea’s latest test, he has largely downplayed its other short-range missile tests in recent months, saying no agreements were violated.
Fox News' Morgan Phillips and the Associated Press contributed to this report.