North Korea 'building ballistic missile submarine'

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At the time, they had estimated that the latest submerged displacement was in excess of 2,000 tons with a beam measurement of 11 meters, according to the Diplomat.

Images from November 5 showed parts being moved into and out of areas near constructions halls, indicating a shipbuilding program is in progress at the Sinpo base on North Korea's east coast. The researchers in 38 North spotted two large circular objects on the November 05 images, and they believe that these parts are submarine's pressure hull.

In addition, a 38 North analysis identified what appears to be a launch canister, indicating that the submarine the North Koreans are building is meant to carry SLBMs, or submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

The Sinpo South Shipyard has been historically used to manufacture some of the largest submarines for the Korean People's Navy (KPN). The latter could suggest ongoing testing of submarine launch ballistic missiles (SLBM), in order to flawless its ejection technique. It said their presence "suggests construction of a new submarine".

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"North Korea's pursuit of a submarine-launched ballistic missile capability also highlights the regime's commitment to diversifying its missile force, strengthening the missile force's survivability, and finding new ways to coerce its neighbors", a 2015 Department of Defense report on North Korea's military developments explained.

Images suggest that work is underway at the Sinpo South Shipyard to build a new submarine, according to 38 North, which carries out analysis on North Korea.

The website added that progress on the construction of a maintenance hall for Pyongyang's submarines is continuing but at a very slow pace.

Kim Jong-un's "aggressive" bid to build his first ballistic missile submarine has been revealed in a satellite images showing a new "pressure hull" at a key military base.

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The revelation comes as US President Donald Trump expected to announce next week whether he is putting North Korea on a list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House said, opening the door to possible blacklisting.

In August 2016, North Korea successfully test-fired an SLBM that flew about 310 miles from Sinpo toward Japan before crashing into the sea.

Supporters of the move point to North Korea's treatment of American student Otto Warmbier - who died this year after being released from custody in North Korea - as well as ties to Iranian and Syrian weapons programs.

In September the UK's leading defence think tank, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) found that the likelihood of war with North Korea had increased markedly thanks to the rapid nuclear advances by Kim Jong-un's regime and the Trump administration's position that "classical deterrence theory" is no longer working. We are gonna be able to handle them.

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