Putin’s Russian empire hopes in hands of ‘pariah’ North Korea
North Korea has announced the development of a new submarine, the “Hero Kim Kun Ok,” with nuclear attack capabilities, marking a significant advancement in its quest for a nuclear-armed navy. The country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, described this as a crucial step to counter the United States and its Asian allies.
The official Korean Central News Agency confirmed that the submarine is designed for launching tactical nuclear weapons from underwater. However, specific details regarding the number of missiles it can carry and fire remain undisclosed.
South Korean officials have expressed scepticism about the submarine’s capabilities, suggesting that it may not yet be ready for operational duty.
Despite this scepticism, the development of the vessel underscores North Korea’s ongoing efforts to expand its nuclear arsenal with systems that are challenging to detect in advance.
The submarine appears to feature at least ten launch tubes, with four of them notably larger than the other six, possibly intended for missiles.
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In recent years, North Korea has conducted various tests of missiles designed for submarine launch, aiming to establish a capability for nuclear strikes from underwater. This capability is seen as a means to enhance its deterrence by ensuring the ability to retaliate even after absorbing a nuclear attack on land.
The introduction of ballistic missile submarines would add a maritime dimension to North Korea’s growing collection of solid-fuel weapons, which are capable of overwhelming missile defences in South Korea and Japan.
However, building a fleet of operational submarines capable of quiet travel and reliable attacks would require significant time, resources, and technological advancements for the heavily sanctioned nation.
Kim Jong Un expressed satisfaction during the vessel’s launch ceremony, and stressed the importance of acquiring a nuclear attack submarine to counter the advanced naval assets of the US Despite these claims, South Korea’s military has cast doubt on the submarine’s capabilities, suggesting that it may not function as described.
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In addition to the submarine, Kim Jong Un has recently emphasised the need to strengthen North Korea’s navy, which some experts speculate could be related to potential military cooperation with Russia.
There is also speculation about a possible meeting between Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss North Korean arms sales in exchange for economic aid and advanced weapons technologies.
While North Korea seeks advanced weapons systems such as nuclear-propelled submarines to enhance its threat to the US mainland, the country’s leader remains determined to assert the submarine unveiled this week as a formidable addition to its arsenal.
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