Home » North Korea’s Advances in Naval Nuclear Forces and Rising Tensions in Northeast Asia

North Korea’s Advances in Naval Nuclear Forces and Rising Tensions in Northeast Asia

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North Korea’s Advances in Naval Nuclear Forces and Rising Tensions in Northeast Asia

The Korean Central News Agency reported on January 29 that North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un directed the test launch of the newly developed “Rocket-3-31” submarine-launched strategic cruise missile on the morning of January 28. The two missiles were test-fired and successfully hit their targets.

The missiles flew over North Korea’s eastern waters for 7,421 and 7,445 seconds before hitting their intended island targets. North Korea stated that the test launches did not impact the security of neighboring countries and that the regional situation has nothing to do with it.

The report did not disclose the flight distance or launch platform of the missiles, but it was speculated that they were launched through a torpedo launch tube. This marks the second test of the “Rocket-3-31” missile in the past week, showcasing North Korea’s rapid development in this area.

North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, emphasized the urgency of nuclear weaponization of the navy as a core requirement for the country’s national nuclear strategic armed forces. This comes as three U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers have gathered in the waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula, heightening tensions in the region.

In response to North Korea’s test launches, the United States, Japan, and South Korea have pledged to strengthen surveillance, reconnaissance, and interception through real-time sharing of early warning information. Meanwhile, North Korea continues to emphasize the need to defend its maritime sovereignty as it accelerates the development of its naval nuclear forces.

North Korea’s recent focus on developing naval nuclear forces is seen as a strategic move to ensure the survival of its nuclear power. The advantages of naval nuclear power include concealment, survivability, and greater maneuverability – all important factors for a small area like the Korean Peninsula.

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Furthermore, the United States‘ deployment of three aircraft carrier battle groups in Northeast Asia indicates a rare concentration of military might in the region, signaling the possibility of sudden changes around the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. aims to convey support to its allies Japan and South Korea while avoiding large-scale military conflicts in hot spots such as Northeast Asia.

As tensions continue to rise in the region, the strategic moves and counter-moves between North Korea and its neighboring countries, particularly the United States, will continue to shape the geopolitical landscape in the Asia-Pacific region.

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