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North Korea launches 1st operational tactical nuclear attack submarine

Picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 8, 2023, shows a view of the launching ceremony for a new tactical nuclear attack submarine. (Via Reuters)

North Korea has launched its first operational "tactical nuclear attack submarine," tasking it with patrolling the waters that lie between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

"Submarine No. 841" would perform its combat mission as "one of core underwater offensive means of the naval force" of North Korea, the country's leader Kim Jong Un said, attending the launching ceremony, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Friday.

"The submarine-launching ceremony heralded the beginning of a new chapter for bolstering up the naval force of the DPRK," the KCNA said, using the initials of the North's official name of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kim said arming the navy with nuclear weapons was an urgent task and promised to transfer more underwater and surface vessels equipped with tactical nuclear weapons to the naval forces.

"Achieving a rapid development of our naval a priority that cannot be delayed given...the enemies' recent aggressive moves and military acts," the North Korean leader said.

On Sunday, North Korea said it had conducted a "simulated tactical nuclear attack" with mock atomic warheads to warn the enemies that the country would be prepared in case of a nuclear war.

The KCNA called the operation a "counteraction drill" in response to joint military activities by the US and South Korea.

Kim had said earlier that the US was increasing the chances of a "nuclear war" on the Korean Peninsula as a result of its reckless confrontational moves.

He was apparently referring to Washington's deployment of some of its most advanced weaponry, including nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines, to the peninsula either as part of agreements with its regional allies, Japan and South Korea, or under the guise of conducting joint military drills.

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