North Korea Tests New Nuclear-Capable Underwater Drone

State media announced on Friday that North Korea has conducted a test of a new nuclear-capable underwater attack drone as leader Kim Jong Un threatened joint military exercises by South Korea and the United States.

According to the North Korean state news agency KCNA, the new North Korean drone conducted the test on Thursday, spending more than 59 hours submerged at a depth of 80 to 150 meters (260-500 feet). It then detonated a non-nuclear payload in the waters off its east coast.

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Experts believe North Korea is demonstrating to Washington and Seoul the breadth of its nuclear arsenal, though they doubt the submarine is ready for use.

Ankit Panda, senior fellow at the American Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, stated that North Korea wants to send a message to the US and South Korea that there are many potential nuclear weapons delivery vectors that the allies would need to be concerned about and target in the event of a war. “Silos, railcars, submarines, and mobile missile launchers on wheels would all be present.

And now they’re mixing in this submerged torpedo, “added he.

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