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. (Read more North Korea stories.)