North Korea may have a submarine capable of launching nukes
The North Korean military is currently attempting to modernize a decommissioned Soviet-era diesel submarine that’s capable of carrying ballistic missiles, either for active service or as a test platform for constructing a similar submarine of its own, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap News, citing sources within the South Korean government.
“The development of submarines carrying ballistic missiles could provide North Korea with a survivable second-strike nuclear capability,” Joseph Bermudez, an expert on the North Korean military, wrote on the 38 North website operated by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. This means that North Korea would be capable of nuclear retaliation even in the event that a foreign nations defeats its military and takes control of mainland North Korea.
These sources claim that the vessel is based on a Golf II-class Soviet submarine that the North acquired in back in 1993, allegedly for the purpose of scrapping. The 3,500 ton Golf II came with submarine-launched ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying a 2,600 pound warhead over a distance of more than 880 miles, according to The Telegraph.
“While the potential threat should not be ignored, it should also not be exaggerated. If the North decides to pursue such a capability, it is likely to take years to design, develop, manufacture, and deploy an operational submarine-launched ballistic missile force,” Bermudez added.