North Korea Building New Diesel-electric Submarine: US Intelligence

Lester Mason
October 19, 2017

As such, even if it is capable of firing a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the country's lack of advanced stealth technology will allow it to be easily tracked and destroyed by the USA and its allies like Japan and South Korea.

Other North Korean missiles launched in August last year and February and May this year also appeared to be variants of China's JL-1 submarine launched missiles, according to the expert. A lack of sophisticated submarine technology, however, means the new submarine probably would be easily detected by US and allied anti-submarine forces.

The report also said that the submarine, dubbed the Sinpo-C by the USA intelligence community, is assumed to be a successor to North Korea's Gorae-class ballistic missile submarine, which is the only North Korea submarine capable of launching SLBMs. First detected via satellite in 2014, the Gorae displaces 1,700 tons and is capable of launching the Pukguksong-1 missile. This sub could be capable of carrying and launching long-range missiles that are much larger, more capable and more destructive than the Pukguksong-1. This allows them to take advantage of the fact that submarine-based missiles are easier to hide and can move closer to their targets, while diversifying the arsenal so it's hard to destroy in a surprise attack.

"They're weaponizing the North", he said, citing the ballistic missile program in particular.

The Gorae, or Sinpo-B, could reportedly have been a test vehicle for the SLBM.

South Korea is preparing for full-scale war with North Korea by developing missiles that could destroy North Korea nuclear and missile facilities in the event of a conflict. This makes "North Korea a real threat because their missiles can now hide", he said. In contrast, the American Ohio-class subs, for example, have allegedly never been tracked or detected by any enemy force until now.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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