It looks like North Korea is in the process of building a ballistic missile submarine, according to a new report.
The U.S. institute 38 North, which is based in Washington, D.C., and monitors North Korea, said Thursday there are satellite images of a North Korean naval shipyard that indicate Pyongyang is building what would be the country’s first operational ballistic missile submarine, Reuters reported, and it is currently pursuing an “aggressive schedule” for completion.
While the images show activity in the shipyard, there is no evidence of preparations for tests of the submarine-launched missile yet, 38 North said.
“The presence of what appear to be sections of a submarine’s pressure hull in the yards suggests construction of a new submarine, possibly the SINPO-C ballistic missile submarine – the follow-on to the current SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine,” 38 North said in a report, Reuters reported.
There has been movement throughout the year of parts into and out of the areas near the construction zone in the center of the shipyard, Reuters said.
Imagines from Nov. 5 show “two large circular objects that could be sections of a submarine’s pressure hull, “which might be larger than what North Korea would use for its ROMEO-class attack submarine, Reuters said.
And, there are images of a test stand, indicating “continued testing of a mechanism for ejection launch of missiles from a submarine,” it reported.
It is also suspected that North Korea is working on a solid-fuel missile for submarine launches.
And: “Last month, The Diplomat magazine quoted a U.S. government source as saying U.S. military intelligence had detected a new diesel-electric submarine under construction at Sinpo and dubbed it the Sinpo-C. It said the submarine was likely a larger successor to North Korea’s single experimental ballistic missile submarine,” Reuters reported.
North Korea has not tested a missile in more than two months – odd, considering the regime led by dictator Kim Jong Un has conducted 15 missile tests this year alone, and also launched a nuclear bomb.
North Korea in early September conducted its sixth ever successful nuclear missile launch and claims that the country now has a Hydrogen bomb it can place on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The most recent North Korean missile test was on Sept. 14, when North Korea launched an intermediate-range missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean.