North Korea on 'aggressive schedule' in developing ballistic missile submarine, report says

Frederick Owens
November 20, 2017

Also, they added, that the submarine which has been dubbed "SINPO-C" was likely a successor to North Korea's Gorae-class ballistic missile submarine (SSB) and if successfully completed, it would be the largest underwater military vessel ever to be built for the Korean People's Navy since Najin-class frigates. Images of the Sinpo South Shipyard taken on November 5 showed what appeared to be a submarine's pressure hull in the yard.

North Korea appears to be racing to get a ballistic missile submarine ready, as it develops its nuclear and missile programmes.

Satellite images taken of the Sinpo South Shipyard on North Korea's east coast on November 5 suggested that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime is focused on rapidly constructing the country's first operational ballistic missile submarine.

There were signs the country was continuing to develop submarine launch ballistic missiles, a new ballistic missile submarine, or a combination, 38 North said.

According to the report, there have been continuous movements of components in and out of the construction yard throughout 2017 which clearly indicate that the country is busy in developing something big.

In September the UK's leading defence think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) found that the likelihood of war with North Korea had increased markedly thanks to the rapid nuclear advances by Kim Jong-un's regime and the Trump administration's position that "classical deterrence theory" is no longer working. But as 38 North reports, ejection tests are expected in the future for submarine-launched ballistic missiles Pukguksong-1, a possible Pukguksong-3 and other missiles.

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North Korea is also thought to be working on a solid-fuel missile for submarine launches.

Another article in The Diplomat last month quoted a USA government source as saying that North Korea had tested a new solid fuel engine sometime between October 15 and October 21.

North Korea sparked fears of World War 3 after ignoring global sanctions to continue developing and testing nuclear weapons.

USA and South Korean military officials have been on alert for signs that the communist state may conduct another missile test after a more than two-month lull in activity.

Tensions are high over traded threats between the North and President Donald Trump, who has threatened to "totally destroy" the country if forced to defend the US and its allies.

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