N. Korea moves closer to 2nd test barge for SLBM

By Seima Oki / Yomiuri Shimbun CorrespondentWASHINGTON — Recent satellite photos suggest North Korea’s second submersible test stand barge for a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) will soon become operational at the Nampo Navy Shipyard in the western province of South Pyongan, according to the 38 North study group of Johns Hopkins University.

Analyzing the satellite imagery from Nov. 11, 16 and 24, the group at the U.S. university’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) confirmed the completion of the new test barge’s construction, which used a portal crane. It also confirmed that the structure had been moved and was positioned on a nearby floating dry dock.

The barge is expected to become operational after electrical equipment and communications devices are installed.

North Korea has already installed its first SLBM barge at the shipyard in Simpo in the eastern province of South Hamgyong, which is also used as a submarine base.Speech

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