March 27, 2023

N. Korea developing new submarine, sea-based missile capability

Pyongyang continues to research advanced naval capabilities, deployment likely years away

Recent findings show that North Korea is continuing research and development to improve its naval capabilities. Both a new type of submarine and an apparent test site for sea-based ballistic missiles have been spotted at a shipyard in the North. These developments were covered in detail in two analyses on 38 North by Joseph Bermudez, co-founder and chief analytics officer of AllSource Analysis, Inc. and publisher and editor of KPA Journal.

Both developments were observed at the Sinpo South Shipyard, located in Sinpo, South Hamkyung Province, on the country’s east coast. The shipyard is North Korea’s primary submarine-building facility and home to the Maritime Research Institute of the Academy of National Defense Science. The institute is responsible for research and development of naval vessels, weapons and other related technology. Sinpo is also very close to the island of Mayang-do, which is home to KPA Navy Unit 167, the submarine unit visited by Kim Jong Un in June.