North Korea Creates Nuclear-Capable Underwater Drone

North Korea has reportedly tested a new nuclear-capable underwater attack drone, according to state media reports on Friday. During the test, the drone operated underwater for more than 59 hours at a depth of 80 to 150 meters before detonating a non-nuclear payload off the east coast of North Korea.

While analysts believe that North Korea is trying to demonstrate its increasing nuclear threats to Washington and Seoul, they are skeptical about the readiness of the underwater vehicle for deployment.

The new drone system, dubbed “Haeil” or tsunami, is designed to create large radioactive waves by carrying out underwater explosions that can attack naval strike groups and major operational ports in enemy waters.

North Korea intends to signal to the United States and South Korea that they have a vast range of potential vectors of nuclear weapons delivery that their enemies would have to worry about and target.

North Korea’s successful test of the new underwater drone is believed to be a move to add to the country’s diverse nuclear threats. Pyongyang wants to make it clear to Washington and Seoul that in a war, they will have to worry about multiple vectors of nuclear weapons delivery, including silos, railcars, submarines, road mobile missile launchers, and now, the underwater torpedo.

The operational concept of the new weapon is reportedly similar to Russia’s Poseidon nuclear torpedoes, a new category of retaliatory weapon designed to create destructive, radioactive blasts in coastal areas. North Korea’s Haeil drone can be deployed at any coast or port or towed by a surface ship for operation.

It remains unclear whether North Korea has fully developed miniaturized nuclear warheads that can fit its smaller weapons. Analysts believe that perfecting such warheads will most likely be a key goal if North Korea resumes nuclear testing. The country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, reportedly oversaw the test.

South Korean officials said they were analyzing North Korea’s claims, and a U.S. official speaking anonymously said there was no indication of a nuclear test. However, the latest tests took place as South Korean and U.S. troops launched their largest amphibious landing drills in years, involving a U.S. amphibious assault ship, on Monday.

North Korea said military exercises by the United States and South Korea required its forces to “gird themselves for an all-out war and bolster up its nuclear force both in quality and quantity on a priority basis.”

Pyongyang has long criticized exercises conducted by South Korean and U.S. forces, calling them preparation for an invasion of the North. However, South Korea and the U.S. say the exercises are purely defensive and have criticized North Korea’s tests as destabilizing and in breach of U.N. sanctions. The allies concluded 11 days of their regular springtime exercises, called Freedom Shield 23, on Thursday, but have other field training exercises continuing.

2 thoughts on “North Korea Creates Nuclear-Capable Underwater Drone

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    1. Ah Russian bot DonLuvsPutin, move back to Russia and leave us alone… stop calling for murder…
      Underwater drones would be difficult to remotely control… doubt N. Korea can do it… except maybe as a dangerous rogue ‘self-driving’ submarine…

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