Kim Jong-un says new sub will cause US to fear its nuclear power.

He said sub enhanced Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities "greatly".

September 8th 2023.

Kim Jong-un says new sub will cause US to fear its nuclear power.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended the unveiling ceremony of the new submarine No. 841, christened the Hero Kim Kun Ok. During the ceremony, Kim was quoted by the state-run Korean Central News Agency as saying the sub was a crucial part of his efforts to counter the naval threat posed by the US and other Asian allies.

"The nuclear attack submarine, for decades a symbol of aggression against our republic, has now become a symbol of our revolutionary power to strike fear into the hearts of our despicable enemies," he said, as photos released by state media showed the leader grinning at the launch.

Kim added that the vessel would be one of the main ‘underwater offensive means of the naval force’, and was designed to launch tactical nuclear weapons from underwater. However, officials in the South were skeptical that the sub was operational, and analysts said it appeared to be a modified Soviet-era Romeo-class submarine.

At the ceremony, Kim also emphasized the need to strengthen the North Korean navy and suggested that the country was pursuing nuclear-propelled submarines. He described the building of a nuclear-capable army as an ‘urgent task’.

Analysts say there is speculation that Kim is preparing to visit Russia soon for talks on North Korean arms sales. In exchange for providing Russia with artillery shells and other ammunition, North Korea could seek badly needed economic aid and also advanced weapons technologies, including those related to submarine-launched ballistic missile systems, intercontinental ballistic missiles and military spy satellites.

But it’s unclear whether Russia, which has always closely guarded its most important weapons technologies, would be willing to share it with North Korea in exchange for what’s likely to be limited war supplies. Nuclear-propelled submarines, which can quietly travel long distances and approach enemy shores to deliver strikes, are among a long list of advanced weapons systems Kim has been openly pursuing.

Ankit Panda, an expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Russian assistance could be ‘quite helpful’ but it’s unclear if Moscow would be willing to share this sensitive technology. KCNA said the launching of the submarine was timed for the 75th anniversary of the country’s founding.

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