UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Pyongyang is building a submarine capable of carrying ballistic missiles and is preparing to test them, according to the research project Beyond Parallel.
Based on photographs of a shipbuilding factory in the North Korean port of Shinbach, researchers confirm a project funded by the US Center for Strategic and International Studies that there is “indirect evidence of a new ballistic missile submarine.”
“There is no confirmed evidence that these experiments will be conducted in the near future,” the researchers said.
North Korea’s TSTAK reported in July that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had inspected a new submarine and its combat systems, without providing any further details about the submarine itself or the equipment on board.
The South Korean Defense Ministry at the time expressed its view that the submarine was capable of carrying at least three ballistic missiles.
For its part, the newspaper “Chosun Ilbo” former South Korea that North Korea may build a similar submarine. It reported that the site “38 North” (US South Korea devoted to the analysis of North Korea) was the first source indicated in 2016 to the possibility of North Korea to build a new submarine.
A facility with a diameter of about 10 meters was found by satellite in the Xinjiang port area, believed to be the body of the submarine. The facility’s standards exceed those of the largest submarine North Korea used at the time.
The calculations show that the submarine’s payload, depending on its diameter, should be about 3,000 tons, meaning it would be capable of carrying between three and four ballistic missiles, the newspaper said.
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