PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency on July 23 shared photos of leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a brand new submarine for the country's military.
North Korea has debuted a new diesel-electric submarine that seems to be a modified version of the Soviet-era Romeo class submarine, the Washington Examiner reports.
According to defense analyst H.I.
Sutton's website, the vessel may be able to carry two to three ballistic missiles, such as the Pukkuksong-1, in its expanded sail.
The nuclear missile has a range of around 745 miles or 1,200 kilometers, the Drive reports.
The submarine will be deployed soon and will operate in the Sea of Japan, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
Citing analysts, Reuters reports that the vessel is being used to send a clear message to Washington to take North Korea seriously.
Joel Wit, founder of 38 North, a Washington-based think tank that analyses North Korea, told Reuters the North Koreans have historically displayed weapon developments "to bolster deterrence and demonstrate that they will not be intimidated" by the U.S. He explained that North Korea's show of military strength may be due to the upcoming U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises in August.
North Korea has routinely called for the U.S. and South Korea to halt combined military exercises as the nation sees the exercises as a threat to its sovereignty.