North Korea nuclear missile launch IMMINENT? Satellite photos expose shipyard test site

The commercial photographs of the infamous Sinpo South Shipyard suggest Kim Jong-un’s military are working on developing a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Aerial snaps seem to show work on an experimental ballistic missile submarine is complete.

And the images also reveal a new shipbuilding program is underway with improvements being made to test stands.

And the release of the images comes amid a period of heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States with both sides issuing threats and counter-threats.

Just this week, American bomber planes flew over the Korean peninsula and a “nuke sniffer” aircraft was deployed yesterday.

Although no military provocation materialised, the North’s state-run newspaper accused the White House of pushing them towards a nuclear war and vowed not to stand by in the face of “criminal actions of warmongers”.

Joseph Bermudez, a specialist in North Korean defence and intelligence affairs, posted the satellite photographs on the 38 North blog of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University. 

Mansudae Grand Monument. An enormous bronze statue of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il, downtown Pyongyang. Image taken the day before Liberation Day where military personnel are visiting the monument to lay flowers for the leaders. Liberation

He said: “The netting suspended over the SINPO-class submarine (SSBA) observed last month is no longer present, indicating that whatever work was being conducted on the vessel has been completed.

“The nature of such work is, however, unknown. 

“Both the submarine and submersible missile test stand barge remain berthed at the same positions in the secure boast basin as noted in our August 7 report, suggesting, without offering real proof, that they have not left port.”

Although he said “the current imagery does not indicate an imminent test”, the photos come as North Koreans celebrate the anniversary of the ruling Workers Party – a day previously picked out by the regime to test new missiles.

Aerial snaps seem to show work on North Korea's experimental ballistic missile submarine is complete

Experts fear Kim could now be preparing a launch for next week, saying October 18 – the start of China’s Party Congress – would be another ideal opportunity.

Pyongyang is adamant on continuing Kim’s nuclear programme despite a string of increasingly volatile threats from Donald Trump.

Kim Jong-un has caused international outrage following months of missile tests – including a Hwasong 14 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the USA.

Now Donald Trump has sent the USS Tuscon, one of the nation's nuclear submarines, to the Korean peninsula in an apparent show of force against the young tyrant.

Officials have revealed the nuclear vessel made port on Saturday, arriving at Chinhae, South Korea.

A statement from US Pacific Command said: "With a crew of approximately 150, Tucson can conduct a multitude of missions and maintain proficiencies of the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

"Tucson's crew operates with a high state of readiness and is always prepared to tackle any mission that comes their way."

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October 12, 2017

Sources:` Daily Express

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