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New satellite images show N. Korea's hidden submarine capable of firing ballistic missiles

All News 10:40 January 06, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- Recent satellite imagery revealed a hidden submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles at North Korea's Sinpo shipyard, a U.S. monitoring website said, amid concerns that Pyongyang could test a submarine-launched ballistic missile as a threatened "new strategic weapon."

Satellite imagery taken Jan. 1 "revealed the presence of the North Korean SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine (SSBA) and its submersible test stand barge positioned beneath a recently constructed, dockside awning designed to conceal and environmentally protect these vessels," the website 38 North said.

The submarine had been difficult to detect since the North set up the awning in an apparent effort to protect it from prying eyes, but Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery technology was used to determine what's under the shelter, 38 North said.

During a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party late last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened that the world will soon witness a "new strategic weapon." Experts say the North could resume tests of an upgraded intercontinental ballistic missile or a SLBM as a "new strategic weapon."

This photo released by North Korea's state media shows a missile being launched from waters off its east coast on Oct. 2, 2019. The North's Korean Central News Agency said Thursday that it successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile from waters off its eastern coast town of Wonsan the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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