Satellite images suggest North Korea preparing submarine missile test: report

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in Pyongyang, North Korea, left, and US President Donald Trump. (AP Photo) Related News

An expert on North Korea’s military has said that recently released satellite images of the nation’s military installations suggest it could be preparing for submarine-based ballistic missile test, reports AFP news.

Joseph 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.

The news about preparations for a submarine-launched ballistic missile test come as tensions between the US and North Korea are escalating over the latter’s vigorous efforts to gain nuclear weapons technology and successfully launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that theoretically could hit US mainland cities.

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