North Korea’s sea-based nuclear deterrent

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Recent reports that North Korea is developing submarines based on obsolete Golf-II class Soviet-era submarines has gained worldwide attention. However obsolete, it is reported that North Korea had invested its time in “examining and replicating” the missile-launch system of the Soviet-era subs.

Reports confirm that Pyongyang already is developing a vertical-launch system for submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Raising further concerns about that is the fact that North Korean ballistic missiles could be armed with nuclear warheads.

Reports also have confirmed that Pyongyang does have the capability to miniaturize nuclear warheads, which could further enable them to fit nuclear-capable submarine launched ballistic missiles on those submarines. Though the submarines at present may not be able to launch missiles that could hit targets in the United States, the missiles could possibly target forward-based U.S. forces in the Asia Pacific Region.

[read full USNI News opinion

This entry was posted in by Grant Montgomery.

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