As it was previously reported, North Korea is currently building a new submarine that would be its first operational ballistic missile sub. Designated by US intelligence as Sinpo-C, the submarine is estimated to carry at least one and perhaps two or more submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
This information corresponds with the satellite photos showing submarine activity that emerged back in August. North Korea currently has one ballistic missile submarine, the Gorae (“Whale”), designated as Sinpo-B by US intelligence, which appears to be a test vessel, as there is no evidence that it has ever left North Korean waters. The pictures reportedly showed tarps and netting installed above the SINPO-class submarine to “obscure any activity taking place beneath them.”
It looks that Pyongyang was accelerating the development of the sea-based leg of its nuclear forces made by the 38 North, an outlet devoted to informed analysis of North Korea, proved to be correct.
The Sinpo-B (Gorae) is capable of launching the Pukguksong-1 missile, a two-stage missile with an estimated range of 745 miles.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen sharply in recent weeks following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang, including its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3 and two missile launches over Japan.
Despite North Korean threats to shoot down American planes flying near the Korean Peninsula outside of the country’s airspace border, following a war of words between North Korean and US leaders, the US and South Korean planes are still conducting reconnaissance.
The US are increasing their presence in the region, wary of the fact that the new missile may be able to reach the US West Coast, according to russian lawmaker who returned from a visit to Pyongyang earlier this month. The US and South Korean navies are conducting joint drills in waters off the Korean Peninsula with the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan involved.
North Korea’s emergency committee for opposing nuclear war drills condemned the move to mobilize nuclear strategic assets near the peninsula, and adding that the US “should expect that it would face unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time.”