North Korea says it has a new tactical nuclear attack submarine | International
North Korea has presented in society this week a new device for its war machine: it is a “tactical nuclear attack submarine”, which will be deployed in a squadron under the orders of the command that patrols in waters off Japan. The launching of the submersible took place on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, but the secretive regime has not made its existence public until this Friday. The ship, according to the official North Korean agency, has arrived just in time to be offered "as a gift to the motherland", which celebrates the 75th anniversary of its founding this Saturday.
The images released by Pyongyang show an immense submarine, named Hero Kim Kun Okwith the colors of the national flag painted on the bow; Before him, members of the Navy form in orderly ranks, while Kim – dressed in civilian attire: a khaki suit and hat – inspects him closely and gives a speech at the Sinpho shipyard, on the east coast of the country.
“Equipping the Navy with nuclear weapons stands as an urgent task of these times,” Kim said. The device marks “a new chapter” and will be “one of the core submarine offensive means” of North Korea, whose strategic and tactical plan, he added, consists of “continuously raising the modernity of the submarine and surface forces and also promoting in the future of the Navy's nuclear weapons."
The Government of South Korea has denounced this new curve in its neighbor's nuclear and weapons spiral. “It is deplorable that North Korea engages in useless weapons development and squanders its scarce resources without paying attention to the difficult issues of subsistence.” [de su población]"said Kim In-ae, spokesperson for the Ministry of Unification, according to the official Yonhap agency.
Various voices have questioned whether this is a significant weapons advance. A South Korean army officer, quoted by the aforementioned agency, has raised doubts about the ship's capabilities. “An analysis of the external characteristics of the North Korean submarine so far shows that parts of it have been enlarged to carry a missile,” explained the Joint Chiefs of Staff official, but adding that “it has been evaluated” that it is not authorized to carry out ”a normal operation” and that the military is studying possible signs of an exaggeration by the North. The South Korean military has continued construction of the submarine in close coordination with the United States, he added.
Military analysis expert Joseph Dempsey, research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, believes it is a “not so new submarine.” In reality, it would consist of a modified version of an old Soviet submersible and very similar to another ship already unveiled by Pyongyang in 2019, as revealed on the social network "More contemporary design features, basically it is an obsolete diesel-electric ship of the Romeo class, originally designed in the 1950s," he assured. “As a platform it will have some fundamental limitations and vulnerabilities.”
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The set-up has coincided with an intense week for the isolated regime in the geopolitical arena after it was revealed that Kim Jong-un plans to travel to Russia this month to meet with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, according to what he announced. The New York Times. It would be another sign of the rapprochement between Pyongyang and Moscow, which Washington is witnessing with growing concern: US intelligence considers that there is a risk that North Korea will supply Russia with weapons intended for the war in Ukraine. The visit, which would constitute the North Korean leader's first trip abroad since the pandemic, has not been officially confirmed.
Meanwhile, various participants and guests have begun to arrive in the North Korean capital for the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the country. On September 9, 1948, the north of the Korean Peninsula established a socialist Government, three years after Korea became independent from Japan and was divided at the end of the Second World War at the 38th parallel: the North was under the area of influence of the USSR.
With this environment of warm Pacific waters as a backdrop, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol held a meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang on Thursday during a summit in Jakarta (Indonesia) of the Association of Countries of the Southeast Asia. Yoon called on China to play a responsible role in the North Korean issue with the aim of ensuring that Pyongyang does not become an obstacle to relations between Beijing and Seoul; and assured - as reported by EFE citing a South Korean spokesperson - that the more the problem of the development of weapons of mass destruction in the neighboring country worsens, the stronger the trilateral cooperation between South Korea, Japan and the United States, which is so disturbing, will have to be. to China.
The Asian superpower is the regime's greatest diplomatic and economic support. Beijing, in fact, has confirmed the presence of a delegation led by Vice Premier Liu Guozhong at the anniversary events. It will be the second high-level visit of the People's Republic to the North Korean capital in less than two months, and with it Beijing hopes for “further deepening and development of bilateral relations,” according to Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
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