North Korea is reportedly building a nuclear-powered submarine likely to be ready in three years, according to a report by Japanese newspaper cited by Washington Post.
The report by Japan’s Sekai Nippo, citing an unidentified “source familiar with the North Korean situation,” said the size of the nuclear-powered submarine under construction is unclear, however the Kim Jong-un regime in Pyongyang hopes to have it deployed within three years.
The Korean People’s Navy operates between 990 and 810 vessels of Soviet, Chinese and North Korean origin. The Pentagon said in a 2015 report on North Korean military capabilities that Pyongyang has seventy submarines of unknown types on active duty.
In 2014, South Korea’s military reported that North’s underwater forces reportedly has about 70 Romeo-class submarines and submersibles aimed to disrupt sea lanes of communication, lay mines, attack surface vessels, and support the infiltration of special operation forces. But most importantly it has a ballistic-missile submarine called Whale-class Or Gorae.