New satellite imagery of North Korea's Sinpo South Shipyard shows what some have called "unusual movement" by the regime's experimental ballistic missile submarine, which could indicate the possible test-firing of a SLBM in the near future.
According to Beyond Parallel, a U.S.-based think tank, on Wednesday, the 8.24 Yongung experimental ballistic missile submarine was seen being moved from under a canopy that usually covers it.
The North used the submarine to test-fire an SLBM in October last year.
Beyond Parallel added that the exact reason behind moving the submarine is unknown, but it is likely related to ongoing modifications, repair work and preparations for an SLBM test.
John Sano, former deputy director for National Clandestine Service at CIA, also said Wednesday that North Korea appears to have constructed a new building in Punggye-ri and is able to resume nuclear tests.
Sano noted that the North's nuclear facility in Yongbyon, the site where Pyeongang produces plutonium and enriched uranium for nuclear bombs, seems to be back in full operation as well.
He further warned that the regime could own at least 200 nuclear weapons by the year 2027.
In the meantime, a North Korea expert argues that the regime is procuring technology and parts necessary for missile development from China and Russia to avoid international sanctions against the regime.
Former U.S. National Intelligence Officer for North Korea, Markus Garlauskas, pointed out during a discussion held by the CSIS on Wednesday that he believes China in particular is helping the North to evade international sanctions.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.