NewsAsiaNorth Korea presents its new "nuclear attack submarine", but there are doubts...

    North Korea presents its new “nuclear attack submarine”, but there are doubts about its capacity

    North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un led the presentation of the imposing submarine with great fanfare. The president alleged that it is “one of the country’s main offensive nuclear assets.” However, experts predicted that it would not be ready for operational service and is just a step forward in modernizing its aging fleet of submersibles.

    4 min

    This Friday, September 8, North Korea’s state media echoed the presentation of the first “submarine for tactical nuclear attacks”, which took place last Wednesday, with the presence of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.

    Read Also:   Putin's propagandists (3/3): Vladimir Soloviev, the TV star

    The president defined it as “one of the main offensive nuclear assets” of the country, which will allow “further strengthening the nuclear deterrent capacity both in quality and quantity,” according to statements collected by the official KCNA agency.

    In the ceremony held at the Pongdae shipyard in Sinpo (the main center for the development of submersibles, on the northeast coast of the country), Kim handed over to the Naval Forces this submarine number 841, baptized ‘Hero Kim Kun Ok’, in honor of a renowned North Korean naval officer from the 1940s.

    Read Also:   RED LINE - Margarita Simonian, Vladimir Putin's "information soldier"

    According to KCNA, Kim inspected the interior of the submarine on Thursday and described it as “urgent” to equip the navy with atomic weapons, while praising the plan of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (the only party in the country). to “continually modernize naval forces and advance the Navy’s adoption of nuclear weaponry in the future.”

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivers North Korea’s new nuclear attack submarine, in an image published on September 8, 2023 by the official KCNA agency. ©KCNA via Reuters

    With the available images of the event (held within the framework of the events for the 75th anniversary of the founding of North Korea), several analysts began to decipher the characteristics of the ship, which would be the same one that Kim Jong-un visited in December. of 2019, while it was under construction. It is apparently a modified Romeo-class submarine, a Soviet design that Pyongyang bought from China in the 1970s and then began producing domestically.

    According to estimates, the submersible would be about 84 meters long, weigh about 3,000 tons when submerged – making it the largest and heaviest in the North Korean fleet – and could have a crew of between 50 and 60 men.

    In addition, it appears to have at least 10 launch tubes, possibly designed to house ballistic and cruise missiles.

    Advancement or hype? Doubts about the new North Korean submarine

    In a statement, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that it had “closely” followed the development of the new North Korean submarine and raised doubts about its real capabilities.

    “As a result of the analysis of the external appearance of the North Korean submarine, it appears that the span of the external elements, such as the bridge, has been increased to carry missiles. However, we do not consider that it is capable of carrying out normal operations and there are signs that it seeks to exaggerate or confuse,” they noted.

    This statement follows the line of other recent ones from Seoul, which seeks to minimize the impact of North Korean developments, which has also raised questions about these analyses.

    In this photo from North Korea

    In this photo from North Korea’s official press agency, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un participates in the inauguration ceremony of a new submarine described as a “tactical nuclear attack” submarine on September 8, 2023. © KCNA via Reuters

    On the one hand, the new development is surprising because it involves an impoverished country like North Korea, which is part of the seven States around the world that can fire missiles from submarines, and takes a step forward in its objective of modernizing its submersibles.

    However, despite having one of the largest fleets in the world (with around 80 ships), it is mainly made up of old models, which are not considered attack ships.

    Vann Van Diepen, a US government weapons expert, said the old submarines used as the core of the new design are relatively noisy, slow and limited in range, which would make them “quite vulnerable” in a war.

    But Shin Seung-ki, a researcher at the Korean Institute for Defense Analysis (KIDA), said that “it is evident that North Korea has significantly expanded and strengthened the operational capabilities of its naval forces.”

    This submarine will have inherent limitations

    For his part, Ankit Panda, an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, pointed out that “this submarine, although highly modified, is based on technology of Soviet origin from the 1950s and will have inherent limitations.” Still, he said that ” “In terms of complicating the targeting challenges that the United States and its allies will face, the submarine will serve North Korea’s purposes.”

    Either way, Pyongyang’s plan is to convert other existing submarines into nuclear-armed vessels and eventually build nuclear-powered submersibles, Kim revealed.

    With Reuters, AP and EFE

    Source: France 24

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    17 + nineteen =

    Subscribe & Get Latest News