North Korea unveils new ‘tactical nuclear attack submarine’

Seoul, Sep 8 (EFE).- North Korea and leader Kim Jong-un have celebrated the launch of a new “tactical nuclear attack submarine” as part of its goal to strengthen the country’s “nuclear deterrence,” state media reported Friday.

The ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Pongdae shipyard in Sinpo, the main center for North Korean submersible development, where submarine No. 841, named “Hero Kim Kun-ok,” was transferred to the East Sea Fleet of the Navy.

“The submarine-launching ceremony heralded the beginning of a new chapter for bolstering up the naval force of (North Korea) and made clearer the steadfast will of the (Workers’ Party of Korea) and the government … to further strengthen the state nuclear deterrence both in quality and quantity,” state news outlet KCNA reported Friday.

The launch took place for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the country to be marked on Saturday, and during the ceremony Kim gave a speech in which he stated that the submarine will be “one of core underwater offensive means of the naval force” and praised the plan of the sole party’s Central Committee to “continuously enhance the modernity of underwater and surface forces and push forward with the nuclear weaponization of the Navy in the future.”

Providing the navy with atomic weapons “arises as an urgent task of the times,” said Kim, who on Thursday inspected the interior of the submarine, according to KCNA.

Based on images published Friday by North Korean media, the new submersible appears to be the same one that Kim inspected at these shipyards in the summer of 2019.

The submarine, initially named Sinpo-C by analysts, is based on the Sinpo (called “Gorae”/”Ballena” by the North Korean Navy), a non-operational model with which North Korea fired in August 2016 the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) Pukguksong-1.

The “Hero Kim Kun-ok” is a larger vessel with the capacity to carry several SLBMs (at least four, according to experts), while the Sinpo has the capacity to carry a single projectile. EFE


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