‘Nuclear attack submarine’ threatening North Korea launched

North Korea launched its first operational “tactical nuclear attack submarine” and handed it over to the fleet patrolling the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan. Named Hero Kim Kun Ok in honor of a naval officer in the 1940s, the 841 submarine will become one of the country’s “main submarine attack vehicles” for the navy. According to local media reports, the launch of the vehicle, which will serve to “further strengthen the nuclear deterrence capacity both in terms of quality and quantity”, was held in the presence of leader Kim Jong-un.

The ceremony was held with great fanfare at the Pongdae shipyard in Sinpo, on the northeastern coast of the country, on Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the country’s founding, which will be celebrated tomorrow (Saturday 9 September). In his speech, he said the submarine would “make a major means of nuclear strike” and praised the one-party Central Committee’s plan to “continually modernize the navy and promote the future adoption of nuclear weapons by the Navy.” Adding that equipping the navy with nuclear weapons is “a pressing issue at the moment,” Kim is preparing to travel to Vladivostok, Russia, for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, where the two leaders will likely discuss arms sales. Help Moscow in the war in Ukraine.

According to analysts and images released by North Korean media today, the ship appears to be a modified Soviet-era Romeo-class submarine that North Korea bought from China in the 1970s and later started to manufacture in-house. Its design with 10 torpedo tube covers indicated that it was most likely armed with ballistic and cruise missiles. But these weapons won’t add much value to the more powerful land-based nuclear forces in the North, as the aging submarines used as the basis of the new design are relatively noisy, slow, and have limited range, meaning they won’t survive for long. Vann Van Diepen, a former US government weapons expert who worked on the 38 North project in Washington, told Reuters it was during the war. “When this thing is deployed in the field, it will be quite vulnerable to Allied anti-submarine warfare,” he said. “So from a military perspective, I don’t think it makes much sense.”

The South Korean military said the submarine did not appear ready for normal operations and there were signs that North Korea was trying to overestimate its capabilities. However, Shin Seung-ki, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis (Kida), warned that South Korea and the United States cannot be sure if they will find and destroy the sunken submarines. “It is clear that North Korea has significantly expanded and strengthened the operational capabilities of its navy compared to the past,” he said.

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Source: Today IT

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