N Korea build­ing new sub­ma­rine

The Myanmar Times - - World -

RE­CENT satel­lite im­agery sug­gests North Korea may be build­ing a new, larger sub­ma­rine for bal­lis­tic mis­siles, a US think tank has said, as the iso­lated state pushes its nu­clear weapons pro­gram.

The news comes af­ter the North in Au­gust test-fired a sub­ma­rine-launched mis­sile (SLBM) 500 kilo­me­tres (310 miles) to­ward Ja­pan, which leader Kim Jong-Un said put the US main­land and the Pa­cific within strik­ing range.

“Com­mer­cial satel­lite im­agery strongly sug­gests that a naval con­struc­tion pro­gram is un­der­way at North Korea’s Sinpo South Ship­yard, pos­si­bly to build a new sub­ma­rine,” the US-Korea In­sti­tute at Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity said on its closely watched web­site, 38 North.

“If this ac­tiv­ity is in­deed to build a new sub­ma­rine, it would ap­pear to be larger than North Korea’s GORAE­class ex­per­i­men­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile sub­ma­rine, which has a beam of ap­prox­i­mately 7 me­tres [23 feet].”

An­a­lysts say that while Py­ongyang has made faster progress in its SLBM sys­tem than orig­i­nally ex­pected, it is still years away from de­ploy­ment.

A proven SLBM sys­tem would take North Korea’s nu­clear strike threat to a new level, al­low­ing de­ploy­ment far be­yond the Korean penin­sula and a “sec­ond-strike” ca­pa­bil­ity in the event of an at­tack on its mil­i­tary bases.

South Korea’s mil­i­tary author­i­ties be­lieve Py­ongyang is eye­ing a sub­ma­rine ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing mul­ti­ple SLBMs, to re­place an ex­ist­ing ex­per­i­men­tal sub­ma­rine used for the Au­gust test.

North Korea is barred from any use of bal­lis­tic mis­sile tech­nol­ogy, but this year alone it has test-fired more than 20 mis­siles and car­ried out two nu­clear tests.

The North has also suc­cess­fully ground tested a new, high-pow­ered rocket en­gine, a move de­signed to show­case its progress to­ward be­ing able to tar­get the US east coast. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.