Japan's Abe vows to bolster defense amid North Korea threat

20 November, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • John Redwood of Charles Stanley

It said the submarine was likely a larger successor to North Korea's single experimental ballistic missile submarine.

Kim Jong-un's "aggressive" bid to build his first ballistic missile submarine has been revealed in a satellite images showing a new "pressure hull" at a key military base.

The images corroborated the fact that the US military intelligence was suspecting since the end of October - that a new diesel-electric submarine under construction in North Korea's shipyard.

The images of Sinpo South Shipyard released on Thursday by 38 North, a project by the U.S. -Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies that specializes in North Korea analysis, suggested there were signs of movement and parts in the area since the start of the year.

Satellite images taken of the Sinpo South Shipyard on North Korea's east coast on November 5 suggested that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime is focused on rapidly constructing the country's first operational ballistic missile submarine.

It also would be consistent with a CNN report in August saying the US military has detected "highly unusual and unprecedented levels" of North Korean submarine activity.

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Speculations of the ballistic submarine construction have been under scrutiny by US intelligence in recent weeks, according to a report by The Diplomat.

In the recent satellite images, the service tower was observed as having been in the same place as before, suggesting that Pyogyang may be conducting ongoing submarine launch ballistic missiles (SLBM) tests.

38 North pointed to two large circular objects in a yard that could be parts of a submarine's pressure hull. Images also indicated testing of ejection launch of missiles from the SINPO-C ballistic submarine.

He said: "What is different here is that I think we have a president in the USA that both nations believe possibly use force if necessary, and I think China is very anxious about the possibility of war in the Korean peninsula and a possible nuclear accident if North Korea continues to test these enormous nuclear devices underground". The past two months have seen a relative lull and it has not tested a missile since firing one over Japan on September 15.

U.S. President Donald Trump visited China this month seeking its help to rein in North Korea and a senior Chinese diplomat will visit the North from Friday.

From Japan, Trump had travelled to Seoul, where he had harshly condemned the North Korean regime in a speech at the South Korean National Assembly and underlined the strategic positioning of military assets in the region.



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