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North Korea’s new submarine may be able to launch ballistic missiles

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The new North Korean submarine, which Kim Jong-un, inspected today, is likely to be capable of carrying long-range ballistic missiles.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Tuesday that the North Korean leader was inspecting a newly built submarine, without giving any details about it and the weapons it supplied.

Reports have shown that North Korea has until recently been building a submarine capable of carrying submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) as part of its efforts to enhance the capabilities of its submarines.

According to South Korea’s Ministry of Defense’s 2018 annual defense report, North Korea has about 70 submarines.

“The submarine does not appear to be nuclear-powered, but it seems to be a Shinbo,” said Professor Kim Dong-yop of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies in South Korea.

“The submarine appears to have two or three launch tubes for use in submarine-launched ballistic missiles.”

The analysis is in line with a report published last month by the US site “38 North”, which provides information about North Korea, raising the possibility of North Korea building a ballistic missile submarine in the shipbuilding shipyard on the east coast.

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