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
North Korea on 'Aggressive Schedule' for New War Machine
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)

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. (More North Korea stories.)

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