This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
By ARIE EGOZI
North Korea continues to mock the world and builds its nuclear power including new platforms for the launch of nuclear weapons. The weakness of the U.S and the U.N allows the North Koreans to continue with a full scale military nuclear program. An Israeli analyst told i-hls.com: “The North Koreans have watched Iran mocking the world with a nuclear agreement which is a joke and they simply don’t stop”.
Joseph Bermudez, co-founder and chief analytics officer of AllSource Analysis, claimed that North Korea is constructing a new bigger class of submarine than the existing Sinpo-class, and the new project seems to have been started several years ago. Bermudez announced his assessment at a briefing organized by 38 North, a website backed by the U.S.-Korea Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.
According to Yonhap News Agency, this prediction is in line with outlooks from other North Korean observers who speculated that North Korea is seeking a bigger sub that can enhance its SLBM capability. The Sinpos are comparatively small submarines with a displacement of about 2,000 tons. They are known to have vertical ballistic missile launch tubes built into the sail of the submarine.
According to defenseworld.net, North Korea launched an SLBM from the East Sea, the country’s third SLBM test-fire this year.
The missile flew some 500 kilometers before landing in waters within Japan’s air defense identification zone. The launch demonstrated an improvement from its previous launch tests.
Bermudez said the latest missile appears to have been fired underwater from a submarine, rather than from a submersible test barge, which he said may have been the case for the North’s SLBM test last December.
If North Korea achieves its long-term plan to build an operational SLBM system, it would complicate ballistic missile defense planning and operations being sought by South Korea and the U.S, he cautioned. Assuming the current rate of development, North Korea is on track to develop the capability to strike targets in the region, including Japan, from a missile fired from a submarine by 2020, he noted.