North Korea on 'Aggressive Schedule' for New War Machine
Report says country is building its 1st operational ballistic missile submarine
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2017 1:00 PM CST
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In this undated photo provided on Wednesday by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Kumsong Tractor Factory in Nampo, North Korea.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

(Newser) – North Korea appears to be on an "aggressive schedule" to build its first operational ballistic missile submarine, Reuters reports. That's according to a report released Thursday by 38North, a North Korea monitoring project based out of Washington, DC. The report states that satellite images of the Sinpo South Shipyard taken Nov. 5 show "the presence of what appear to be sections of a submarine's pressure hull in the yards." If the objects are indeed pieces of a pressure hull, they are bigger than what is used for North Korea's current ROMEO-class attack submarines.

38North also cites the continuous movement of parts in and out of yards next to construction halls at the shipyard and the presence of a stand used to test the mechanism that launches missiles from a submarine. A move to develop an operational ballistic missile submarine wouldn't be unexpected, CNBC reports. North Korea started testing submarine-launched ballistic missiles last year, and Kim Jong Un has shown an increased willingness to utilize submarines.

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