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    Home未分类Vanished Beneath the Waves: The Mystery of North Korea's Missing Submarine

    Vanished Beneath the Waves: The Mystery of North Korea’s Missing Submarine

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    In early 2016, a North Korean submarine, number and class unknown, mysteriously disappeared off their coast. Despite extensive search efforts by North Korea, and US  monitoring, the vessel was never recovered. According peculation suggests the sub may have sunk, potentially as an obsolete vessel.”Vanished Beneath the Waves: The Mystery of North Korea’s Missing Submarine”.

    The vanished submarine was reportedly operational off the North Korean coast when contact was lost. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, reported, “About week ago it went missing and the speculation is that it sank,” adding, “The North Koreans have not made an attempt to indicate there is something wrong or that they require help or some type of assistance.” The U.S. military, along with its South Korean counterparts, kept a vigilant eye as the North Korean navy scoured the ocean for the missing sub, with the presumption that it may have experienced a catastrophic failure during maneuvers.

    North Korea’s fleet, estimated at around 70 submarines, is a mix of midget boats and larger vessels that can hold crews of up to 30 or 40, most of them being old diesel models capable of little more than coastal defence and limited offensive capabilities.Joe Bermudez, an analyst specializing in North Korea, noted that while the vessels are of “reasonable quality,” they often repurpose civilian materials for military use and suffer from low maintenance standards compared to other East Asian navies.

    The regime of Kim Jong Un has emphasized its underwater capabilities as a threat, particularly to South Korea. In a troubling precedent, the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in 2010, which resulted in the loss of 46 sailors, was attributed to a torpedo launched by a North Korean midget submarine, highlighting the asymmetric threats posed by Pyongyang’s aging but potentially lethal submarine fleet.

    More recently, North Korea unveiled a new submarine, the Hero Kim Kun Ok, believed to carry nuclear-armed missiles. This advancement in North Korea’s naval warfare, demonstrated by the launch of the “tactical nuclear submarine No. 841” in September 2023, indicates an ongoing commitment to enhancing their offensive capabilities despite international sanctions and economic hardships.

    Amidst these developments, the United States and South Korea have continued to bolster their own defensive measures, with joint military exercises described as the largest ever. The recent statement by KCNA warning of a “pre-emptive retaliatory strike at the enemy groups” involved in these drills showcases North Korea’s perennially combative stance.

    Pyongyang announced it intended to counter the drills with an “operation to liberate the whole of South Korea including Seoul” using an “ultra-precision blitzkrieg.” In response, South Korea’s defense ministry urged Pyongyang to cease making threats or engaging in additional provocations, as reported by Yonhap news agency.

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