On Sunday, Beijing conducted a test of its next-generation JL-3 submarine-launched missile, The Washington Times reported, citing Pentagon officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. The outlet claimed that the new submarine-launched missile is potentially capable of reaching the entire territory of the United States with a nuclear warhead.
The test was reportedly carried out from a submerged Jin-class ballistic missile submarine in the Bohai Sea, off the coast of northern China and monitored by US intelligence satellites, as well as from its platforms at sea. Pentagon spokesman for Asia Lieutenant Colonel David W. Eastburn, however, could not verify the reports when approached by the media.
In late June, China’s Ministry of National Defence spokesperson Ren Guoqiang confirmed that the country had already tested the JL-3, following reports from local residents that they had spotted a mysterious light in the night sky.
“The scientific research and tests were conducted according to plan”, the ministry’s spokesperson said at the time, adding that the test had not targeted “any country or specific entity”.
Ren also insisted that the development of military weapons was important for “safeguarding China’s national splaecurity”.
China confirms testing its intercontinental submarine missile after a mysterious light in the sky sparked speculations of the experiment of the nuclear weapon— Darlington Micah (@DarlingtonMicah) July 1, 2019
China has successfully tested its next-generation JL-3 missile on June 2 pic.twitter.com/zv2pFQhloX
China’s next-generation JL-3-class missiles are specifically designed for China's nuclear-powered submarines, with its full operational range believed to extend from 9,000 km to 14,000 km, according to various media reports.