United States commander: Military-backed diplomacy needed to deal with N. Korea


North Korea is intent on constructing and deploying its first operational ballistic missile submarine.

The news is strategically significant as the new vessel would enhance the regime's ability to launch a nuclear counterattack in the event of a pre-emptive strike...

Throughout this year, gantry and tower cranes have been carrying massive circular objects-with diameters as long as 7.1 meters-around the Sinpo South Shipyard, which has been the primary manufacturer of large submarines for Pyongyang, 38 North reports. The latter could suggest ongoing testing of submarine launch ballistic missiles (SLBM), in order to ideal its ejection technique.

Its report said that throughout 2017 there had been continued movement of parts and components into and out of two parts yards adjacent to the constructions halls in the center of the shipyard. It also replicates how a missile would be launched from a submarine's hull.

The submersible missile test stand barge that has been developing a current SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine has remained docked in the same location for the last four months.

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Another article in The Diplomat last month quoted a USA government source as saying that North Korea had tested a new solid fuel engine sometime between October 15 and October 21. David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Korea Times in October that the ICBM during North Korea's first testing, which flew to an altitude of 1,739 miles before landing in the East Sea, could have flown up to 4,163 miles if it had been launched on a standard trajectory, not at a steep angle. The SINPO-C ballistic submarine is expected to elevate the marine strength of North Korea, and it will surely give them enough dominance if a war breaks out in the recent future.

USA and South Korean military officials have been on alert for signs that the communist state may conduct another missile test after a more than two-month lull in activity.

From Japan, Trump had travelled to Seoul, where he had harshly condemned the North Korean regime in a speech at the South Korean National Assembly and underlined the strategic positioning of military assets in the region.

In recent months, it has fired two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth and largest nuclear bomb test, stoking regional tension.