FPI / March 29, 2023
By Richard Fisher
North Korea’s nuclear missile arsenal includes intercontinental range, medium range, short range ballistic missiles, hypersonic glide vehicles, ground-launched land attack cruise missiles and now a nuclear-armed unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) dubbed a “Nuclear Tsunami.”
As with most of North Korea’s nuclear missile arsenal, the success of North Korea’s UUV nuclear weapons was likely due to help from China, which has also been developing large UUVs and may have nuclear-armed UUVs to assist its invasion of Taiwan.
Named the “Haeil” or Tsunami, it was tested on March 23 and the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported:
“The mission of the underwater nuclear strategic weapon is to stealthily submerge into the operational area... and annihilate enemy ship groups and major ports of operation by generating a super-powerful radioactive tsunami through underwater explosions…This nuclear unmanned underwater attack craft can be put into operation by towing to any coast or port or surface vessel.”
Furthermore, of the March 23 test KCNA stated on March 24 that the UUV was “cruising along an oval and pattern-8 course at an underwater depth of 80 to 150 meters in the East Sea of Korea for 59 hours and 12 minutes.”
Depending on the size of its nuclear warhead, an explosion at the depth of 150 meters (490 feet) would be sufficient to cause a large wave that could damage a coastal military base, a city or endanger a U.S. Navy ship formation.
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