By Chris King • 24 March 2023 • 21:58
Image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Credit: Alexander Khitrov/Shutterstock.com
Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, seems determined to continue his arms race. This time, the country’s military claims to have tested a new underwater nuclear weapon that is capable of causing a ‘radioactive tsunami’ as well as stealthily attacking its enemies.
Although the tests were said to have been conducted earlier this week, KCNA, the North Korean state news agency, reported it today, Friday, March 24, and it quickly made headlines in neighbouring countries.
According to the South Korean agency Yonhap, citing what is shared in the north, the ‘submarine nuclear attack drone’ was deployed on Tuesday 21, off the coast of Riwon county, in the province of South Hamgyong.
It reached the target point in the waters of Hongwon Bay, set up as a simulated enemy port, with its test warhead detonating underwater on Thursday afternoon, the news outlet said.
The drone allegedly sailed ‘along an oval and figure-of-eight course at an underwater depth of 80 to 150 metres in the East Korean Sea for 59 hours and 12 minutes’ they added in Pyongyang.
These submersible drones are designed to ‘stealthily infiltrate operational waters and cause a large-scale radioactive tsunami’ to destroy naval attack groups and important ports of their enemies. They can be deployed ‘on any coast and port or be towed by a surface ship for its operation’, according to the North Korean state agency.
North Korea began developing such underground nuclear weapons in 2012 to ‘overcome the military and technical superiority of the imperialist aggressor forces’, they explained.
Their ‘secret weapon’ was christened the ”Haeil’ unmanned underwater nuclear attack craft’ at the 8th WPK congress in 2021. Since then, ‘it has undergone more than 50 tests in the past two years (29 of which were approved) in the presence of Kim Jong Un’, they added.
Some military experts have doubted that these claims are true and frame them in a tense panorama marked by the exercises in Seoul and Washington and the weapons tests in Pyongyang.
In addition to destroying fleets and infrastructure, this type of weaponry has the capacity to cause terrible damage to coastal regions. These would subsequently remain highly polluted for at least several decades both inland and in the surrounding waters.
According to the EFE agency, KCNA published four images today purporting to show the test of this underwater drone, or at least an underwater silhouette and an explosion near the sea surface can be seen in them they suggested. KCNA also released two other images of Kim in front of the unmanned submersible in a covered warehouse whose location is unknown.
In any case, many analysts doubt the regime’s claim – which insisted that the drone navigated underwater for two and a half days – given the high complexity such a system requires.
Russia claims to have already had its Poseidon nuclear submarine drones deployed and in operational condition for just a few months. The enormous secrecy with which they have been developed for years prevents more details about this type of weapon from being known though.
What is known, for example, is that the Poseidon requires nuclear propulsion – a capability that Pyongyang lacks – to enable truly successful deployment and infiltration, as reported by larazon.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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