NHK reported at noon that according to a report by the South Korean news agency Yonhap, North Korea has apparently completed the construction of a 3,000-ton submarine that can carry three submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). According to the report, an ROK government source said that the North is “gauging the timing for unveiling the submarine for strategic effect, including maximizing pressure against the United States,” and pointed out the possibility of the DPRK actually firing an SLBM.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato reportedly told reporters this morning: “We are aware of the media reports, but I’d like to refrain from commenting on the specifics. We are working closely with the United States and South Korea, collecting and analyzing information, and engaging in surveillance and monitoring activities with grave interest. We will continue to make an all-out effort to do so.”