North Korean authorities have said they have launched a nuclear-armed submarine. A press release from North Korea’s state-run Central News Agency (KCNA) described the ship’s launching ceremony as “the beginning of a new chapter in strengthening the DPRK’s naval forces.”
KCNA does not report either the technical characteristics of the boat or its model. It is only indicated that she became part of the fleet patrolling the waters on the border of North Korea and Japan. According to Reuters, we are probably talking about a modernized Romeo-class submarine. These are diesel-electric submarines of the Soviet project 633, which the DPRK bought from the USSR in the 1970s. NK News notes that the ship is similar to the one shown to Kim Jong-un in 2019.
Photographs of the boat show that it is equipped with ten missile launchers, which are likely to be capable of launching ballistic missiles. However, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, according to the military, the ship “does not seem to be capable of full-fledged work.” The South Korean authorities also doubt the suitability of the boat. The Committee of the country’s generals said that the boat, judging by its appearance, “cannot be operated in normal mode.”