Satellite imagery shows ‘somewhat unusual’ activity at NK submarine shipyard: US think tank

WASHINGTON, 08 Feb. (Yonhap) — Recent satellite photos have shown “somewhat unusual” activity at a North Korean submarine shipyard, including the repositioning of a missile test barge, though its purpose remains unclear. , said a US think tank on Tuesday.

Citing recent satellite images, Beyond Parallel, a project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has published an analysis of its recent observation of the shipyard in the eastern coastal town of Sinpo, where an experimental ballistic missile submarine is docked. .

Between Jan. 5 and Jan. 8, an infiltration mothership in the dockyard’s secure basin swapped positions with the submersible missile testbed barge that has been moored here since about 2014, the group said. reflection.

The Infiltration Mothership is a vessel the North previously used to deploy agents on high-speed landing craft for infiltrations in South Korea and Japan, and such vessels have occasionally been seen at the shipyard for maintenance and repairs, according to the think tank.

He also noted developments related to the position of a telescopic crane at the shipyard.

“New and somewhat unusual activity has been observed around the Experimental Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBA) 8.24 Yongung in the secure boat dock at Sinpo South Shipyard over the past four weeks,” Beyond Parallel said.

“At this time, it is unclear whether recent activity is an indicator of continued work on the 8.24 Yongung SSBA, new work being undertaken on an infiltration mothership, a deception program in course or a combination of these and other reasons,” he added. added.

The think tank noted that the submarine in question plays an “essential” role in the North’s ongoing development of submarine-launched ballistic missiles and is an “indispensable” tool for the practical training of new submarines. sailors.

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