New North Korean Submarine Has Potential to Carry Three Ballistic Missiles
South Korea's Ministry of National Defense revealed Wednesday that North Korea's newly constructed submarine has the ability to carry at least three submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
In a report to the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee, officials indicated that the new underwater vessel appeared to be larger than the 2,500-ton Gorae-class submarine. Additionally, Rep. Lee Hye Hoon, the chief of the parliamentary intelligence committee, told reporters following the meeting that the vessel will be ready to be deployed soon.
The ministry's revelation comes after North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency unveiled images earlier in July showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a new submarine. The ministry has indicated that the blurred sections of the images appear to be blocking the submarines missile launch tubes.
According to UPI, North Korea most recently showed off its SLBMs' power in 2015 and in 2016, firing multiple missiles off its east coast toward Japan.
The remarks regarding North Korea's submarine development were issued hours after the northern country deployed two ballistic missiles early Wednesday. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff later indicated that the projectiles had flown between 240 and 330 kilometers after being fried from the country's South Hamgyong Province.
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