Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – It’s now apparent North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un used the failed June 12 summit in Korea with Donald Trump as a cover to clandestinely advance his nuclear weapons program.
This program is now being strengthened by the accelerated tempo of the construction of North Korea’s first operational ballistic missile submarine armed with nuclear missiles.
The Republic of Korea Armed Forces said North Korea does appear to be working on this submarine at the port of Sinpo on North Korea’s east coast. This boat will allow the Korean People’s Navy (KPN) to launch missiles closer to their targets, thus improving accuracy.
Sinpo is a major center of North Korea’s defense industry. It lies in close proximity to the Mayang-Do Naval Base and a land-based SLBM (submarine launched ballistic missile) test launch platform. More important, the SINPO-C ballistic missile submarine (SSB) and the SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine (SSBA) are being built at the Sinpo South Shipyard.
38 North, a website monitoring North Korea, in December 2017 released commercial satellite imagery of the Sinpo South Shipyard showing the building of North Korea’s first operational ballistic missile submarine – the SINPO-C SSB.
It said the presence of what appears to be sections of a submarine’s pressure hull in the yards suggests construction of a new submarine. SINPO-C is the follow-on to the current SINPO SSBA.
38 North also said a probable launch canister appears to be present within the service tower at the missile test stand “suggesting the ongoing ejection testing of submarine launch ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Such testing could support the continued development of SLBMs, a new ballistic missile submarine or a combination of both.”
U.S. intelligence estimates SINPO-C with a submerged displacement of 2,000 tons and a beam of 36 feet, making it the largest ship built for the KPN. SINPO-C might be a successor to a Gorae-class ballistic-missile sub outfitted with a new missile-launch tube that was detected in the summer of 2017.
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