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Satellite Photos Suggest North Korea Preparing Submarine Missile Test (Video)

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North Korea may be preparing a submarine missile test according to advanced commercial satellite imagery.

38 North reports:

Recent commercial satellite imagery reveals several developments suggesting that North Korea may be accelerating the development of the sea-based leg of its nuclear forces. Of particular interest in the imagery is that netting or tarps have been suspended above both the fore and aft decks of the SINPO-class submarine obscuring any activity taking place beneath them. This was last done prior to the July 9, 2016 test of the Pukguksong-1, suggesting that the North may be preparing for a new series of “at sea” test launches, has undertaken modifications or upgrades to the submarine’s launch systems, or is developing a more advanced version of the Pukguksong-1. Recent ejection tests of an SLBM also support the assessment that an at-sea SLBM test may be forthcoming.

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Via att.net:

Washington (AFP) – Recent satellite photos suggest North Korea could be preparing for fresh submarine-based ballistic missile tests, an expert on its military said Friday.

Joseph Bermudez, a specialist in North Korean defense and intelligence affairs, posted photographs on the authoritative 38 North blog of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University which he said could show preparations for a test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

“Recent commercial satellite imagery reveals several developments suggesting that North Korea may be accelerating the development of the sea-based leg of its nuclear forces,” he said.

Activity on a SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine at the Mayang-do navy shipyard and submarine base, he said, suggests “that the North may be preparing for a new series of ‘at sea’ test launches, has undertaken modifications or upgrades to the submarine’s launch systems, or is developing a more advanced version of the Pukguksong-1.”

The Pukguksong-1 is an SLBM that was first successfully test-launched on August 24, 2016.

That missile flew 500 kilometers (300 miles) towards Japan, which leader Kim Jong-Un said at the time put the US mainland within striking range from a Pacific-based submarine.

Bermudez said the preparations at the submarine in recent weeks match those ahead of previous tests.

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