Military: North Korea launches submarine for nuclear attack

Military: North Korea launches submarine for nuclear attack

North Korea’s navy should also participate in deterrence with nuclear weapons – that’s what ruler Kim Jong Un wants. Now the country is showing pictures of a submarine that, according to the government, can be equipped with nuclear weapons.

North Korea says it has launched its first operational submarine capable of attacking with tactical nuclear weapons. The submarine will fulfill its “combat mission as one of the core offensive underwater carriers,” ruler Kim Jong Un was quoted as saying by state-controlled media on Friday. Equipping the Navy with nuclear weapons must be promoted in the future.

After taking part in the ceremonial launching on Wednesday, Kim inspected the submarine number 841 “Hero (Held) Kim Kun Ok” a day later before the first test drive. South Korea’s military expressed doubts about the submarine’s operational capability.

The construction of such a submarine is seen in the context of Kim’s goal of expanding his country’s nuclear power. North Korea, which sees the USA as a hostile state, wants to have the entire spectrum of nuclear weapons and missiles at its disposal. North Korea is subject to international sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program.

Further upgrades announced

Kim recently announced a further buildup of tactical nuclear weapons in response to the USA’s stronger defense cooperation with South Korea and Japan. The navy must become “part of the state’s nuclear deterrent”.

It remained unclear how many missiles the new submarine could carry and fire. Photos from the North Korean news agency KCNA revealed ten launch tubes that could be intended for so-called submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), according to reports from South Korean media. North Korea has tested such missiles several times in the past.

UN resolutions prohibit the country from launching or testing ballistic missiles. Depending on the design, such rockets can be equipped with nuclear warheads. SLBMs are considered weapons of particular strategic value. Missiles fired from a submerged carrier ship are more difficult to detect by the enemy.

Not suitable for “normal use”.

Experts assumed that the new North Korean submarine was a modification of a type of the Soviet Romeo class. It appears that “North Korea has blurred the stern and propellers of its new submarine to hide the origins of its outdated 1950s design,” defense and military analysis expert Joseph Dempsey wrote on the online Platform X, formerly Twitter.

Together with the USA, South Korea’s military monitored the preparations for the launch of the new North Korean submarine, the General Staff in Seoul said. An analysis of the external features shows that parts have been enlarged to carry rockets. However, the submarine in its current form does not appear to be suitable for “normal use,” it said.

Source: Stern

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