SEOUL (dpa) – South Korea has detected signs that the North is developing submarine-based missile launch capability, state media reported Sunday.
The military Joint Chiefs of Staff said Seoul was scrutinizing the information on a possible ballistic missile system (SLBM) with the US government, Yonhap news agency said.
“There is no intelligence yet that North Korea has an SLBM in operation. But the possibility of a North Korean submarine equipped with an SLBM has been detected recently,” the chiefs said in a report to opposition legislator Jin Sung-joon.
Yonhap quoted a senior government official as saying that the intelligence agencies had detected key evidence of a developing system. “A missile launch tube for submarine use has been spotted, which appears to have been developed at North Korea’s submarine base,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
The communist nation is expected to seek larger submarines if the tests are successful, he said. The report said North Korea has deployed more than 20 Romeo-class submarines, which can ballistic missiles.