(From AFP)

Recent satellite images suggest North Korea has completed the external refurbishment of a shipyard dedicated to building and launching a new class of ballistic missile submarines a US think tank said Wednesday.

Satellite image of Sinpo South Shipyard
Satellite image of Sinpo South Shipyard

While it is unlikely that any such vessel would become operational before 2020, the North’s efforts to develop a working submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is clearly “making progress”, according to the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

A credible SLBM capability would take North Korea’s nuclear strike threat to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and the potential to retaliate in the event of a nuclear attack.

Last month, one of the North’s experimental GORAE-class submarines carried out an SLBM test in the East Sea (Sea of Japan), launching a missile that travelled around 19 miles (30 kilometres).

South Korea deemed the test a failure as the missile appeared to have exploded, but analysts at the US Korea Institute said it was a success. Read more

Leave a comment