- Neither the date of Kim's visit nor the location of the ship has been specified by North Korean state media.
- This new submarine, named Sinpo C by US intelligence, would be larger and would have the capacity to launch at least four ballistic shells.
- Donald Trump has certainly reduced tensions on the Korean peninsula, but he has not succeeded in getting North Korea to stop expanding its nuclear arsenal.
Kim Jong-un inspected a new submarine in what looks like a new gesture to pressure the US within the framework of denuclearization talks. While negotiations remain stagnant, North Korea does not stop its military development. North Korean propaganda media yesterday claimed that Kim reviewed the submarine, with a deployment near the waters of the Sea of Japan (called the East Sea in the two Koreas).
The images show the submarine in dry dock in a covered facility, but neither the date of Kim’s visit nor the location of the ship has been specified by North Korean state media.
In any case, everything indicates that it is the base of Sinpo in the east coast of the country, the main development center of the North Korean submarine program. The bathyscaphe that appears in the images is the new advanced version of Sinpo class submarines, with the ability to launch ballistic missiles.
This new submarine, named Sinpo C by US intelligence, would be larger and would have the capacity to launch at least four ballistic shells (the Sinpo only has the capacity to carry a missile). The North Korean media deployment seems unequivocal regarding the message it sends to the US– that talks on denuclearization must resumed as soon as possible, which continues to show no progress.
The text and photographs underline at all times the fact that the progress of the North Korean program of ballistic missiles launched from underwater (SLBM) continues despite the rapprochement with Washington. Also, three key officers for the North Korean arms program, Ho Yong-chil, Kim Jong-sik, and Jang Chang-ha, accompanied Kim during his visit, according to the state news agency KCNA.
The information is also published coinciding with the visit to Seoul by the US National Security Adviser, John Bolton, a controversial figure and strongly criticized by Pyongyang given his insistence that the regime disarm completely before lowering any sanctions. Pyongyang has repeated that they want a gradual denuclearization process that is accompanied by a progressive relaxation of sanctions.
Both sides collided at the Hanoi summit held in February and although the recent impromptu July 31 summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump promised to restart talks in mid-July, so far there has been no meaningful meeting.
Donald Trump has certainly reduced tensions on the Korean peninsula, but he has not succeeded in getting North Korea to stop expanding its nuclear arsenal. Although Trump began his term in 2017 with very strong rhetoric against North Korea, his government subsequently began to approach Pyongyang with a view to reaching an agreement for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.