38 North said a prototype submarine and submersible missile test stand barge appear ready to be put to sea at any time, but it stressed that "there are no activities suggesting" a test was imminent.
According to 38 North, the presence of what appeared to be sections of a submarine's pressure hull in the yards suggests a new submarine was being built - possibly a SINPO-C ballistic missile submarine (SSB), the follow-on to the current SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine (SSBA).
- Kim Jong Un's regime is pursuing an "aggressive schedule" to construct its first operational ballistic missile submarine, an analysis of satellite images indicated as North Korea scoffs at worldwide condemnation and moves to complete its missile and nuclear program.
North Korea is intent on constructing and deploying its first operational ballistic missile submarine.
According to the report, there have been continuous movements of components in and out of the construction yard throughout 2017 which clearly indicate that the country is busy in developing something big.
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.
Last month, The Diplomat magazine quoted a United States government source as saying USA military intelligence had detected a new diesel-electric submarine under construction at Sinpo and dubbed it the Sinpo-C. Ejection tests are expected in the near future for submarine-launched ballistic missiles Pukguksong-1, a possible Pukguksong-3, and other missiles, Newsweek reported.
According to the poll, 25.6 percent said they think Tokyo and Washington should give weight to the use of pressure against North Korea and 28.3 percent said they think so to some extent. The past two months have seen a relative lull and it has not tested a missile since firing one over Japan on September 15.
CNN quoted an unnamed US defense official as saying there was evidence of an ejection test - which evaluates the "cold-launch system" that propels the missile from the launch canister before its engines ignite - in August.
Tensions are high over traded threats between the North and President Donald Trump, who has threatened to "totally destroy" the country if forced to defend the USA and its allies.
In recent months, it has fired two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth and largest nuclear bomb test, stoking regional tension.