An analysis of satellite photos of a North Korean military installation seems to confirm earlier reports from this summer that Pyongyang has indeed developed a submarine, potentially capable of launching missiles.
An analysis of those photographs, which were taken on Monday, from the Center for Strategic and International Studies includes imagery of support vessels and a crane, indicating that a test for a submarine-based missile launch could come about, NBC News reported.
The authors of the report tempered down their worries a bit by suggesting that such a test wasn’t yet imminent, but was troubling enough to be considered an emerging threat. Such missile launches could, in theory, include nuclear arsenal.
The latest “images suggest North Korea is making real progress in developing a second leg of the nuclear triad, bringing them closer to a survivable nuclear force,” https://t.co/igvy6wnWoI
— The Grey Man (@IntelOperator) August 28, 2019
The construction of such a vessel signals the continued progress of North Korea’s military operations, including their commitment toward arming themselves with the means needed to launch nuclear missiles — the opposite direction the Trump administration wants to see things heading in.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump seemed to be relaxed about the idea of North Korea conducting small missile tests. He even cited a small apologetic letter he had received from Kim about the tests.
“I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future!” Trump said in a tweet, according to reporting from Vox.
Just hours after the message from Trump, North Korea conducted two more missile tests.
Trump has been dedicated to creating a “nuclear-free North Korea” but has been unable to craft an agreement between the U.S. and Pyongyang since he started taking an agreeable tone with Kim. The construction of more missiles and a submarine capable of launching them does not seem to be a positive development toward the denuclearization goal.