KCNA Reports North Korea’s Testing of Submarine-Launched Cruise Missiles

North Korea Conducts Second Test of Submarine-Launched Cruise Missiles, Advances Naval Nuclear Armament.

On Sunday, North Korea carried out a test of its new submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCM), marking the second launch of an upgraded missile within a week and signaling acceleration in the nuclear armament of its navy, as reported by state media on Monday.

Leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the testing of the missile, named “Pulhwasal-3-31,” which mirrors the strategic cruise missiles launched by North Korea the previous week as part of its ongoing weapons system upgrade.

The state news agency KCNA and the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper indicated that the missiles traveled above the sea along the country’s east coast for 7,421 seconds and 7,445 seconds, successfully hitting an unspecified island target. The extended flight time, exceeding two hours, was highlighted in the reports.

Kim Jong Un Declares Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile Test a Success with Strategic Significance!

According to KCNA, Kim Jong Un has hailed the recent test as a success, deeming it of strategic importance in the execution of plans to modernize the army and build a formidable naval force.

Since Last Week North Korea Has Been Testing Multiple Missiles

South Korea’s military reported on Sunday that North Korea had launched several cruise missiles off its coast, withholding specific details. However, on Monday, the military refuted the claimed flight time, labeling it an exaggeration. Additionally, it downplayed the likelihood that the missiles were propelled by solid fuel, asserting that it had tracked the missiles in real-time.

The previous week, North Korea acknowledged testing a new strategic cruise missile with implications of being designed for nuclear warheads, though submarine launch development was not initially disclosed.

Photographs from state media on Monday captured a missile ascending into a cloudy sky above water, accompanied by a smoke plume that obscured the launching platform’s type.

While North Korea’s cruise missiles generally raise fewer concerns and are not explicitly prohibited by UN Security Council resolutions, analysts emphasize that intermediate-range cruise missiles pose a significant threat comparable to ballistic missiles.

In recent months, North Korea has conducted tests involving various weapons, including ballistic missile systems in development and an underwater drone. Kim Jong Un, in a separate inspection, assessed the progress of a nuclear submarine’s construction and discussed the manufacturing of other new warships, as per KCNA, providing no specific details.

North Korea launched what it claimed to be its first operational nuclear attack submarine last year. Analysts suggested it appeared to be modified from an existing submarine, likely intended for carrying ballistic and cruise missiles. Skepticism arose regarding its practicality compared to advanced land-based missile systems due to its diesel propulsion generating noise and limited range, according to weapons experts.

Addressing concerns about the submarine’s military utility, South Korea’s military stated on Monday that it believed the vessel “has no military use” and appeared to be undergoing repair or maintenance. Kim Jong Un previously announced plans to expedite the program for constructing nuclear-powered submarines.

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