US website: North Korea may be building new missile submarine

FILE PHOTO In this Oct. 17, 2015 photo, the South Korean Navy' 1,800 -ton submarine Ahn Jung Geun is seen during a media day for a naval fleet review off South Korea's southeastern coast near Busan, South Korea. South Korea on Monday, Aug. 29, 2016, said it has no plans to introduce nuclear-powered submarines despite growing calls by lawmakers to do so following North Korea's recent submarine-launched missile test. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
FILE PHOTO In this Oct. 17, 2015 photo, the South Korean Navy' 1,800 -ton submarine Ahn Jung Geun is seen during a media day for a naval fleet review off South Korea's southeastern coast near Busan, South Korea. South Korea on Monday, Aug. 29, 2016, said it has no plans to introduce nuclear-powered submarines despite growing calls by lawmakers to do so following North Korea's recent submarine-launched missile test. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

WASHINGTON (AP) – A U.S. website that monitors North Korea’s weapons development says the isolated nation may be building a new submarine for launching missiles.

The website, 38 North, says commercial satellite imagery strongly suggests a naval construction program is underway at the Sinpo South Shipyard where North Korea has built most of its submarines.

International concern over the North’s naval capabilities has intensified since it successfully tested a submarine-launched missile in August. Development of that capability would add a weapon that is harder to detect before launch than its land-based missiles.

In its analysis Friday, 38 North said a large circular component seen in imagery suggests North Korea could be building a submarine larger than its current experimental vessel that is being developed for missile launches. However, the evidence is inconclusive.

 

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