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North Korea Could Be Sending Missile Submarine to Sea

North Korea Could Be Sending Missile Submarine to Sea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) attends a memorial service in Pyongyang on Dec. 17 to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of his father and the country's second leader, Kim Jong Il. (Kyodo via AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 December 2016 04:47 PM

North Korea may be getting ready to put its GORAE-class experimental ballistic missile submarine to sea, reports the website 38 North.

The website cites commercial satellite imagery from December 9 of North Korea’s Sinpo South Shipyard as the reason for its assessment but, says "it is impossible to determine whether that would be related to an impending missile test or normal maintenance activities."

The U.S. has been on alert for new nuclear or missile tests by North Korea since November when satellite imagery showed potential preparations taking place at North Korea's Sohae launch facility.

This time, the submarine's netting has been removed as well as a submersible test barge. North Korea also appears to have finished work on land along the waters, according to the report, a "reconfiguration [that] will allow the stand to test missiles with engines larger than the KN-11 SLBM last tested in August."

"These two factors suggest that both [submarine and submersible test barge] may have recently been at sea or are preparing to go to sea in the near future."

The report also states that North Korea might not be putting the GORAE to sea to test missiles.

"There are numerous reasons why the GORAE or test barge would be put to sea other than testing missiles or their components, such as certification of personnel or validation of repairs. Therefore, based on satellite imagery alone, it is not possible to determine whether a SLBM test is imminent."

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North Korea may be getting ready to put its GORAE-class experimental ballistic missile submarine to sea, reports the website 38 North.
north korea, missile, submarines, report
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2016-47-21
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 04:47 PM
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