Newest North Korea`s Submarine is Ready to be Deployed Soon and Armed with Three Ballistic Missiles
SEOUL, (BM) – A newly constructed North Korean submarine seems to be capable of carrying three submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), South Korea’s defense ministry was quoted as saying on Wednesday, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting Yonhap News Agency.
The defense ministry determined that the North’s submarine is ready to be deployed soon, Rep. Lee Hye-hoon, the chief of the parliamentary intelligence committee, told reporters after the ministry’s closed-door briefing.
Last week, North Korean state media unveiled photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspecting a new submarine, the deployment of which he says is “near at hand.”
The ministry said blurred parts of those photos appear to the launch tubes of SLBMs.
In 2015 and 2016, North Korea fired several SLBMs to demonstrate the country’s missile capability. In August 2016, it test-fired an SLBM off its east coast toward Japan. It flew about 500 kilometers, making the longest flight by such a missile.
North Korea imported Soviet-era 1,800 ton Romeo-class submarines in the 1970s. Since then, the country has built and been operating around 70 subs.
The ministry said North Korea has claimed it is constructing a 3,000-ton submarine, but the new sub does not appear to be that.
“There is a possibility that the new sub is slightly larger than a (2,500-ton) Gorae-class submarine,” the ministry said, adding that the North may have revamped an old-fashioned Romeo-class submarine.
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Source: Yonhap News