The images represent a powerful reminder that, as well as developing inter-continental range ballistic missiles launched from land, North Korea has for several years been pursuing a programme to launch a long-range missile from a submarine.
The images corroborated the fact that the USA military intelligence was suspecting since the end of October - that a new diesel-electric submarine under construction in North Korea's shipyard.
'The presence of what appear to be sections of a submarine's pressure hull in the yards suggests construction of a new submarine, possibly the SINPO-C ballistic missile submarine - the follow-on to the current SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine, ' 38 North said of the November 5 pictures.
Abe told Fox News earlier this month that he hoped to "further solidify the U.S. -Japan alliance" against North Korea.
Kim Jong-un's navy is on an "aggressive schedule" to build and arm the new boat, said the respected 38 North monitoring project.
54% support pressure tactics over dialogue for North Korea: Jiji poll
Throughout this year, gantry and tower cranes have been carrying massive circular objects-with diameters as long as 7.1 meters-around the Sinpo South Shipyard, which has been the primary manufacturer of large submarines for Pyongyang, 38 North reports. The report, however, said there are no indications a submarine-launched missile test will be conducted in the near future.
Last month, The Diplomat magazine quoted a U.S. government source as saying USA military intelligence had detected a new diesel-electric submarine under construction at Sinpo and dubbed it the Sinpo-C. It also replicates how a missile would be launched from a submarine's hull.
"Such testing could support the continued development of SLBMs, a new ballistic missile submarine or a combination of both", defense expert Joseph Bermudez said in his analysis.
North Korea sparked fears of World War 3 after ignoring worldwide sanctions to continue developing and testing nuclear weapons.
U.S. President Donald Trump visited China this month seeking its help to rein in North Korea and a senior Chinese diplomat will visit the North from Friday. His agenda included strengthening Japan's missile defense capability and purchasing more US -made missile defense systems.