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Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) claims the country has tested an underwater nuclear-capable drone-based weapons system, which is yet another declaration the country has made of its own advanced weapons, claims that don’t usually have concrete proof.
This new weapon announcement comes at a time of tension in the region, between the neighboring countries as well as discontent over the presence of Japan and the US near its territorial waters (North Korea has called recent naval exercises of the US and South Korea “provocative”).
According to Interesting Engineering, North Korea claims to have tested an underwater drone called Haeil-5-23 at the Underwater Weapon System Institute, which works under the DPRK Academy of Defense Science.
Haeil (meaning tsunami) is a system that uses an underwater nuclear explosion to create a radioactive wave. North Korea claimed to have tested the system on two occasions last year. The KCNA press release reads: “The armed forces of the DPRK will strike horror into their hearts through the responsible, prompt, and bold exercise of its deterrent and firmly defend the security of the state and regional peace.”
Nevertheless, the country has not presented any actual evidence of these tests but claimed to have further “rounded off” its nuke-based underwater countering posture. Experts believe that much work lies ahead before the North can deploy this technology, if it exists.
Some worrying developments in the region are expected to escalate tensions as North Korea gets close with Russia for “strategic and tactical cooperation.” Experts claim that North Korea has been providing weapons and tech to Russia for operations in Ukraine in return for Russian nuclear technology, as reported by DW reported.
Furthermore, North Korea has reportedly become more aggressive in recent months, claiming more completed weapons tests and looking to pick a fight with its neighbor and the US. Last month, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, said that the North will no longer seek to reconcile and reunify with the South.