Increased defense by NK circa 2013 was a possible chess move by Russia or China, but not in this case. NK is attempting to build out infrastructure. See, when the ballon is squeezed at one end the other end still jets out, this inflation happens to be the submarine- launched ballistic missile end. - Chad
By Julian Ryall (Telegraph)
Satellite images indicate that North Korea is starting work on a submarine that will be larger than anything it can presently deploy, with analysts suggesting the vessel may be used as the platform for Pyongyang's newly developed submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
Images captured by commercial satellites in September show components compatible with the construction of a submarine stockpiled at the Sinpo South Shipyard, according to the 38 North web site, operated by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University . "While there is no direct evidence that the program is for a boat to carry the ballistic missile currently under development, the presence of an approximately 10-metre in diameter [32 feet] circular component outside the facility’s recently renovated fabrication hall may be intended as a construction-jig or as a component for the pressure hull of a new submarine," the report claims. The vast majority of North Korea's submarines have been built at the Sinpo South Shipyard and, if the component is for a new generation of submarine, it will be larger than the Gorae-class experimental ballistic missile submarine - with a beam of around 23 feet - that has been used in SLBM tests to date. The shipyard has undergone extensive modernisation work in the last 18 months, including the addition of a fabrication plant and a roof to a construction hall alongside a slipway. Satellite images have also monitored the delivery of raw steel and fabricated components, as well as the presence of heavy equipment transporters. North Korea carried out a successful test-launch of a SLBM in late August , with the missile travelling more than 300 miles before falling into the Sea of Japan. "There are many strategic reasons why North Korea is seeking an SLBM capability," said Lance Gatling, a defence analyst and president of Tokyo-based Nexial Research Inc. "Rather than relying on fixed sites that can be detected by electronic or human intelligence, a submarine has a far greater ability to roam and be undetected," he told The Telegraph. "If they were just building a larger conventional submarine, armed with torpedoes, then no-one would be very worried", he said. "But their ability to miniaturise nuclear warheads and put those warheads on missiles that can be launched from submarines is a significant and worrying step forward in their strategic capabilities."
0- Oct/04/2016 23:11 GMT Bloomberg