Abe increasing Japan power amid North Korea threat


The report by 38 North, a website run by the U.S. -Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, suggests that the North is making progress in developing submarine-launched ballistic missiles in addition to its land-based nuclear weapons program. The researchers in 38 North spotted two large circular objects on the November 05 images, and they believe that these parts are submarine's pressure hull.

Satellite images taken of the Sinpo South Shipyard on North Korea's east coast on November 5 suggested that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime is focused on rapidly constructing the country's first operational ballistic missile submarine.

It said throughout 2017 there had been continued movement of parts and components in and out of two parts yards next to the constructions halls in the centre of the shipyard, as well as movement of the gantry and tower cranes that service the yards.

The SINPO-C appears to be a follow-on to a current SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine, 38 North states.

North Korea sparked fears of World War 3 after ignoring worldwide sanctions to continue developing and testing nuclear weapons. It said their presence "suggests construction of a new submarine".

USA officials say they have seen no signs that Pyongyang has stopped development of its nuclear programme.

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It also replicates how a missile would be launched from a submarine's hull.

In an article last March, we cited a March 7 report from CNN stating that there are now about 54,000 USA troops stationed in at least seven bases scattered across Japan, from Misawa Air Base in the far north to Okinawa in the far south, which cost the USA government about $5.5 billion in 2016. It said these appeared larger than those for North Korea's ROMEO-class attack submarine.

The prime minister also called on the worldwide community to help put pressure on North Korea.

US President Donald Trump used his five-country tour of Asia to address the North Korea crisis, urging the region's leaders to do all in their power to pressure Kim Jong-un to halt his nuclear ambitions. Experts cited by CNN said in August that if North Korea had fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on a standard trajectory, it could have hit major USA cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago or Denver. The past two months have seen a relative lull and it has not tested a missile since firing one over Japan on September 15.

However, US officials say they have seen no signs that Pyongyang has stopped development.

While some observers have charged that Trump was more interested in the business side of the weapons sales than on Japan's defense, U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty emphasized that the president's primary focus is on security, not trade.