North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claims to have designed a new nuclear submarine reports the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). He claimed it in a report at the 8th party congress.
“The development of a new nuclear submarine has been completed, which is an example of modernization and offers the naval forces a confident prospect of a significant increase in the level of the current capabilities of military operations under water,” reads the report read out by Kim Jong-un. At the congress, it was tasked to take steps to construct the nuclear submarine and new types of weapons and bring them into service. The design is in the final screening process as per KCNA.
Kim Jong-un also said that the DPRK will continue to develop nuclear weapons and improve the technology for delivering preventive and retaliatory strikes.
On August 2016, North Korea had successfully tested Pukkŭksŏng-1 (alternative names Bukgeukseong-1 or KN-11) Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM). The range of the missile is unknown but estimated to be around 1500 kms.
Korean People’s Navy fields a large fleet of submarines, but only one Sinpo class submarine (alternative names Gorae class or Pongdae class) is capable of launching a ballistic missile. The 2000 ton submarine is the newest design and the largest submarine of the fleet.
On November 2020, a South Korean lawmaker Ha Tae-Keung, an opposition party lawmaker on the parliament’s intelligence committee, said that North Korea is building two submarines and one is SLBM capable. “One is a modified Romeo Class and the other is a new medium-large sized one,” he added. The new submarine is estimated to be about 3000 tons.