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N. Korea could be building 2 NEW submarines capable of firing ballistic missiles – Seoul

N. Korea could be building 2 NEW submarines capable of firing ballistic missiles – Seoul
Pyongyang is said to be constructing new submarines, one of which is capable of carrying ballistic missiles, South Korean news agency Yonhap said citing intelligence services.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service believes North Korea’s military is building two new submarines capable of firing ballistic missiles, Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The South Korean military has not commented on the report. However, opposition party lawmaker Ha Tae-keung was quoted by Reuters as saying on Tuesday that one of the submarines is a modified Romeo Class and the other is a new medium-large sized one. At least one of them can carry a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the MP added.

Last month, The Republic of Korea (ROK) held an emergency meeting of the National Security Council at the presidential Blue House in Seoul where the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) new weapons were discussed.

Pyongyang showed off new armaments, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and an SLBM, during a massive military parade on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party.

Military experts noted that Pyongyang’s new type of SLBM that was demonstrated during the parade appeared to be bigger in length and diameter compared with the previous Pukguksong-1 and Pukguksong-3 missiles.

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Seoul warned in early October that North Korea was preparing to roll out “new strategic weapons” that could include an ICBM or an SLBM. The SLBM’s new version was predicted to have been built for a new submarine that had been under construction at North Korea’s naval base in Sinpo on its east coast, according to Seoul. The new submarine may be capable of carrying three to four SLBMs.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said at the parade that Pyongyang will continue building its military might, but expressed hope that the neighbors would hold hands again after the end of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Seoul said that it “emphasized various agreements” with the North “to prevent armed conflicts and war.”

On Monday, the South Korean and US militaries were reported to be closely monitoring movements at North Korea’s main Yongbyon nuclear complex, following a report on signs of activities there.

Following the October parade in Pyongyang, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs pose a global threat.

Pyongyang is believed to have nuclear warhead devices to fit inside ballistic missiles, according to a United Nations report which was submitted to the UN Security Council in August. North Korea has reportedly conducted six nuclear tests, the last of which was carried out in September 2017.

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