A source inside the notoriously closed-off nation of North Korea has warned that the regime may be launching a submarine-launched ballistic missile — often referred to as an SLBM — this upcoming October. The potential test would highlight the country’s weapon-related advancements over the past year and would likely add tension to a region already plagued with strained relationships.
According to Daily NK, the insider believes that the missile launch will take place on October 10 at a parade commemorating the 75th anniversary of the communist party’s founding. The reported location is the Sinpo Shipyard, a major hub of the nation’s defense industry.
“The shipyard had already gradually begun preparations for the launch of a SLBM some time ago, but they began pushing harder to [finish the preparations] from this month [September],” the source claimed. “[The site] is bustling with activity to prepare for the ballistic missile launch, with central [government] officials and researchers arriving at the site from late August, along with the mobilization of many military units.”
“It looks like the final tests [for launching the SLBM] will be held at around the end of this month,” the individual concluded.
They added that security around the area is “airtight” and no outsiders are allowed near the base.
The source’s information is not the only evidence of a possible weapons test. Joseph Bermudez, a senior fellow for Imagery Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Security (CSIS), analyzed satellite imagery surrounding the Sinpo Shipyard. In an article published on Beyond Parallel, Bermudez claimed that the detected vehicles and other noted changes in the images are “suggestive” that the regime is making necessary preparations for an SLBM launch.
Meanwhile, South Korean military authorities are reported to be “closely watching” their northern neighbor amidst the rumors. Current defense minister Jung Kyung-doo and defense minister nominee Suh Wook have publicly claimed that they do not believe North Korea will be showing off a weapon.
However, statements from Won In-choul, the nominee for chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been in opposition to the aforementioned assertions. Won wrote to the National Assembly that South Korea’s military had detected notable “movements” around the shipyard.
“There is a chance [North Korea] will carry out a submarine-launched ballistic missile test,” he stated.
The rumors come one week after U.S. President Donald Trump made headlines while discussing the communist nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, President Trump recently said to “never underestimate” the politician.