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Kim Jong Un oversees submarine-launched cruise missile tests, North Korea says

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By manpreet maan

Kim Jong Un oversees submarine-launched cruise missile tests, North Korea says
Kim Jong Un Supervises Test Firings of New Cruise Missiles Amid Rising Tensions

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test firings of new cruise missiles designed for submarine launches. The tests come as part of North Korea’s efforts to enhance its naval capabilities and build a nuclear-armed navy to counter perceived external threats. This move follows heightened tensions in the region, with North Korea conducting multiple weapons demonstrations amid strained relations with the United States, South Korea, and Japan.

Missile Launch and Submarine Development

The official newspaper Rodong Sinmun published photos of at least two Pulhwasal-3-31 missiles fired separately. The missiles, tested from land-based launches last week, created grayish-white clouds as they broke the water surface and ascended at an angle of around 45 degrees, possibly indicating launches from torpedo launch tubes. The missiles flew for over two hours before accurately hitting an island target.

Analysis and Response

South Korea’s military detected the missile launches and is analyzing the data, including the possibility of North Korea exaggerating flight times. While North Korea has been testing various missiles for submarine launches, building a fleet of reliable submarines capable of carrying out nuclear strikes would require significant time, resources, and technological advancements.

Kim’s Strategic Goals

Kim Jong Un expressed satisfaction with the test results and issued important tasks to advance the “nuclear weaponization of the navy” and expand its sphere of operation. These goals are deemed crucial considering the current situation and perceived future threats. Kim also received briefings on efforts to develop a nuclear-powered submarine and other advanced naval vessels.

Challenges and Realities

While North Korea aims to build a nuclear-armed navy, experts emphasize the challenges the nation faces in achieving this goal without external assistance. The recent unveiling of a submarine in September, the “Hero Kim Kun Ok,” raised doubts about its operational readiness. South Korea’s military suggested that the vessel appeared incapable of normal operation despite having launch tubes for missiles.

Escalating Tensions on the Korean Peninsula

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have heightened in recent months as Kim accelerates weapons development and issues provocative threats of nuclear conflict with the U.S. and its allies. The U.S., South Korea, and Japan have responded by expanding military exercises and refining deterrence strategies to counter North Korea’s evolving missile capabilities.

Recent Developments and Strategy

The cruise missile launches follow the January 14 test firing of North Korea’s first solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile. Kim’s efforts to expand the arsenal of weapons capable of overwhelming missile defenses in the region and targeting remote U.S. locations in the Pacific, including Guam, underscore the evolving dynamics in the region.

As North Korea continues its weapons testing, the international community closely monitors developments, assessing the implications of Kim Jong Un’s strategic goals and the potential for increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The recent tests highlight North Korea’s determination to enhance its naval capabilities amid geopolitical uncertainties.

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