Is North Korea building a nuclear submarine? – Forward Observer Shop

Is North Korea building a nuclear submarine?

A report in Japanese media claims that North Korea is building a nuclear-powered submarine in secret, and that the vessel will be completed and beginning sea trials within three years.

The report by Japan’s Sekai Nippo, citing an “informed” but unidentified “source familiar with the North Korean situation,” said the size of the nuclear-powered submarine under construction is unclear.

The Washington Times, which reported the development, said the paper could not independently verify the Japanese report, either through the Sekai Nippo or through U.S. intelligence sources. But the paper noted that, if true, it would significantly boost North Korea’s naval-based first-strike capability since no doubt the nuclear-powered sub would be outfitted with nuclear-tipped ICBMs.

North Korea currently operates a fleet of about 50-60 diesel-electric subs that are much louder and easier to detect than nuclear-powered boomers. [source]

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 3: What are the latest indicators of a U.S.-North Korea conflict?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region.  Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *