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N. Korea demonstrates SLBM to be mounted on nuclear submarine

N. Korea demonstrates SLBM to be mounted on nuclear submarine

Posted January. 16, 2021 07:27,   

Updated January. 16, 2021 07:27


North Korea unveiled on Thursday night a new submarine-launched ballistic missile that will likely be mounted on a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine during a military parade conducted at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. After revealing Pyongyang’s development of a strategic nuclear submarine at the 8th Congress of the ruling Workers’ Party, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un disclosed on the day a new nuclear missile to be mounted on a submarine, which can be interpreted as threatening the U.S. with its possible attacks.

The North’s Rodong Sinmun on Friday called the new strategic submarine ballistic missile the world’s most powerful weapons, while presenting a number of missile photos. Pyongyang has thus disclosed the existence of a new SLBM after revealing the Pukkuksong-4 SLBM at the military parade on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party in October last year.

“If our enemy forces infringe upon the security of our nation even an inch, we will take vengeance thoroughly by preemptively mobilizing our strongest attack capability,” said the North’s defense minister Kim Jong Kwan, threatening a preemptive strike against South Korea and the U.S. Unlike in last year’s military parade, Kim Jong Un only observed the parade at the chairman’s stand, without delivering any speech.

The new SLBM, with Pukuksong-5 marked on its fuselage, looked similar to the Pukkuksong-4, but analysts say the diameter and warhead part have been expanded. Experts suggested that it could be a multi-warhead SLBM whose range and the weight of the warhead have been increased. An improved North Korean ballistic missile KN-23 was also unveiled for the first time as well. It seemed that the missile has been modified into a form of ultra-supersonic weapon mounted with a tactical nuclear warhead, which the North Korean leader had ordered his military to develop. However, an ICBM was not showcased at the parade, which watchers say might have been intended by Pyongyang to adjust intensity of its demonstration of forces in consideration of the Joe Biden administration’s inauguration on next Wednesday.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com