54% support pressure tactics over dialogue for North Korea: Jiji poll

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From satellite images alone it is hard to assess how much progress North Korea's submarine-launched missile programme has made.

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.

Shinzo Abe pledges to strengthen defence amid North Korea threat
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.

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