US detects ‘highly unusual’ North Korean submarine activity

Republic of Korea (ROK) Chang Bogo (Type 209) Class (1200) Submarine CHANG BOGO (SSK 061) heads out to sea during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2004. RIMPAC is the largest international maritime exercise in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands.  This years exercise includes seven participating nations: Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.  RIMPAC enhances the tactical proficiency of participating units in a wide array of combined operations at sea, while enhancing stability in the Pacific Rim region.

North Korea could be preparing to carry out a submarine missile test in defiance of President Trump’s attempts to bring the rogue nation to heel.

Satellite images taken on Monday shows activity at a test site which mirrors preparations ahead of the country’s last test of their Pukguksong-1 submarine-launched ballistic missile in August last year.

The images were released after President Trump said American weapons are ‘locked and loaded’ in case Kim Jong-un makes any more ‘overt threats’ toward the US.

oseph Bermudez, a specialist on North Korean defense and military, shared photographs on ‘authoritative 38 North blog’ of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University and claimed that the images show preparations by North Korean for a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test.

“Recent commercial satellite imagery reveals several developments suggesting that North Korea may be accelerating the development of the sea-based leg of its nuclear forces,” he was quoted by AFP news.

Talking about North Korea’s experimental ballistic missile submarine, the SINPO-class submarine, Joseph said, “The North may be preparing for a new series of ‘at sea’ test launches, has undertaken modifications or upgrades to the submarine’s launch systems, or is developing a more advanced version of the Pukguksong-1.”

North Korea’s Pukguksong-1 is an SLBM that was first successfully test-launched on August 24, 2016.

The missile, during its first test launch, covered a distance of 500 kilometers (300 miles) before plummeting in the water near Japan.

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