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HomeWorldKim supervises North Korea's submarine missile test: KCNA

Kim supervises North Korea’s submarine missile test: KCNA

Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, reportedly oversaw the launch of two submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs), marking the weapon’s second test in consecutive days, as reported by state-run media.

KCNA news agency stated on Monday that the newly developed Pulhwasal-3-31 missiles “flew in the sky above the East Sea… to strike the island target” and mentioned Kim “guided” the launch.

Photographs show Kim smiling with military personnel, pointing at a missile in the sky at an undisclosed location. Other images show the launch platform obscured by large plumes of white smoke.

The South Korean military announced that multiple missiles were launched from waters near Sinpo, a North Korean port with a shipyard that produces naval assets, including submarines. No further details were provided.

Pyongyang conducted its first test of the Pulhwasal-3-31, a latest-generation cruise missile with nuclear capabilities, on Wednesday. These tests aim to enhance the Korean Navy’s nuclear capabilities.

Cruise missile tests, characterized by lower altitude and jet propulsion, are not affected by United Nations sanctions that ban ballistic missile testing in North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

KCNA reported that the SLCMs were in flight for approximately two hours but did not specify their altitude.

North Korea Advances Naval Capabilities

North Korea’s capabilities for sea-based launches still need to be determined, with previous trials conducted from older vessels, like a submerged platform, rather than a genuine submarine.

KCNA said Kim expressed “great satisfaction” with Sunday’s test and discussed constructing a “powerful naval force.” He also reportedly inspected “the construction of a nuclear submarine” and discussed the construction of new warships.

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Yang Moo-jin, chancellor of the University of North Korean Studies, told AFP, “Their primary objective will be to enhance naval capabilities in the East Sea and trial weapon systems for submarines.” He added that this could lead to the development of nuclear-powered submarines and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

An SLBM capability would significantly expand North Korea’s arsenal, enabling deployment beyond the Korean Peninsula and providing a second-strike capability.

South Korea would face a “new threat” from a nuclear-tipped SLCM, says retired South Korean Navy submarine captain Choi Il.

North Korea has tested various weapons recently, including an underwater drone and ballistic missile systems. Analysts believe Kim launched the country’s first nuclear attack submarine last September, likely designed to carry ballistic and cruise missiles.

KCNA described the submarine as a new beginning for the North Korean navy.

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