North Korea has been on a hot streak of powerful threats over the course of the last few months, but no one is sure just how realistic those threats could be.
The government in Pyongyang loves to talk a big game. Between their longstanding hatred of the United States, and pretty much everyone except for China, the despotic dictatorship has been working for some time on its nuclear weapons technology in an effort to bolster their often laughable position on the world stage.
The only problem is, no one seems to know just how capable the North Korean military is.
At one point, North Korea itself had the 4th largest army in the world – a formidable force by all accounts – but that was not during the reign of Kim Jong Un who, by many accounts, is failing miserably as a leader. The widespread poverty and famine within the nation has surely affected his fighting forces, leading many to believe that the old statistic no longer applies.
Then come the numerous “oops” moments that have riddled their missile tests and nuclear weapon demonstrations. Some rockets have fizzled out on the pad. Others have missed their mark by 100’s of miles. Not to mention that Kim Jong Un’s personal promise to detonate an atomic weapon for Donald Trump’s inauguration definitely did not happen. All of this leads us to believe that Pyongyang may very well be overstating their capabilities.
But, what if they do have a nuclear weapon, but no rocket capable of striking the United States? Could North Korea turn to submarines to launch an attack?
“While North Korea is still struggling to develop nuclear-headed airborne missiles, it is fast increasing its underwater military power.
“The country possess numerous submarines, which it has used with devastating effect in the past, with fears they are now being adapted to fire nuclear weapons.
“Even more worrying is the submarines’ ability to ‘disappear’ and avoid detection. In 2015 around 50 went missing, setting alarm bells ringing in Seoul and Tokyo.
“Security expert Bruce Klingner told CNBC: “We didn’t know where they were at the time. One would hope that we would keep very close tabs on those that could launch the submarine-launched ballistic missiles [SLBMs].
“’All of that is very worrisome because that may very well have a nuclear weapon someday.’”
Now that China and the United States are both pressuring the erratic nation to comply with international diplomacy, and a strange submarine spotter plane congregation was spotted off the coast of the United States just days ago, the North Korean submarine plot line just got a whole lot more plausible.