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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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International

North Korea claims it tested a nuclear-capable underwater drone

Mar 24, 2023

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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An uncrewed, nuclear-capable submarine that creates massive radioactive waves to attack fleets of ships and render entire coastal cities uninhabitable. That’s how North Korea described its newly unveiled underwater attack drone.

It’s called the “Haeil,” which means tsunami in Korean. North Korea claimed it tested the new drone as the United States and South Korea wrapped up joint military drills.

North Korea said it started developing the Haeil 11 years ago, and it appears to share many characteristics with the Russian-made Poseidon torpedo. The Haeil is silent running, can be deployed from the coast or towed by a surface ship, and is designed to use stealth to infiltrate enemy ports and destroy them with a nuclear underwater explosion.

North Korea said it did not use nuclear weapons in the latest test of the Haeil. It’s unclear whether the country actually has the ability to put a miniaturized version of its nuclear warheads on the underwater attack drone. But Western intelligence officials did acknowledge North Korea is making strides in its nuclear ambitions.

The Haeil test was the culmination of three days of nuclear drills in North Korea. Those drills saw the launch of several cruise missiles and what appeared to be an inter-continental ballistic missile launched from an underground silo.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was reportedly very satisfied with the drills. State media said Kim expressed his will to make “the U.S. imperialists and the [South] Korean puppet regime plunge into despair” over the powerful demonstrations.

Despair appeared to be in short supply in South Korea, though, as it wrapped up the largest joint military exercises the country’s held with the United States in years. For 11 days, U.S. and South Korean ground forces drilled side-by-side in simulated combat scenarios involving troops and heavy armor. The U.S. and South Korea also conducted five days of joint aerial drills. Another round of joint naval exercises is also on the docket.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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AN UNCREWED, NUCLEAR-CAPABLE SUBMARINE THAT CREATES MASSIVE RADIOACTIVE WAVES TO ATTACK FLEETS OF SHIPS AND RENDER ENTIRE COASTAL CITIES UNINHABITABLE. THAT’S HOW NORTH KOREA DESCRIBES ITS NEWLY UNVEILED UNDERWATER ATTACK DRONE, DUBBED THE HAEIL–OR TSUNAMI IN KOREAN. NORTH KOREA CLAIMED IT TESTED THE NEW DRONE AS THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH KOREA WRAPPED UP JOINT MILITARY DRILLS.

NORTH KOREA SAID IT STARTED DEVELOPING THE HAEIL 11 YEARS AGO. THE HAEIL APPEARS TO SHARE MANY CHARACTERISTICS WITH THE RUSSIAN MADE POSEIDON TORPEDO. IT’S SILENT RUNNING, CAN BE DEPLOYED FROM THE COAST OR TOWED BY A SURFACE SHIP, AND IS DESIGNED TO USE STEALTH TO INFILTRATE ENEMY PORTS AND DESTROY THEM WITH A NUCLEAR UNDERWATER EXPLOSION.

THE NORTH SAID DID NOT USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN THE LATEST TEST OF THE HAEIL. IT’S UNCLEAR WHETHER THE COUNTRY ACTUALLY HAS THE ABILITY TO PUT A MINIATURIZED VERSION OF ITS NUCLEAR WARHEADS ON THE SUB. BUT WESTERN INTELLIGENCE OFFICES DID ACKNOWLEDGE NORTH KOREA IS MAKING STRIDES IN ITS NUCLEAR AMBITIONS.

THE HAEIL TEST WAS THE CULMINATION OF THREE DAYS OF NUCLEAR DRILLS IN NORTH KOREA. THOSE DRILLS SAW THE LAUNCH OF SEVERAL CRUISE MISSILES AND WHAT APPEARED TO BE AN INTER-CONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSILE LAUNCHED FROM AN UNDERGROUND SILO.

NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM JONG UN WAS REPORTEDLY VERY SATISFIED WITH THE DRILLS. STATE MEDIA SAID KIM EXPRESSED HIS WILL TO MAKE QUOTE THE U.S IMPERIALISTS AND THE SOUTH KOREAN PUPPET REGIME PLUNGE INTO DESPAIR OVER THE POWERFUL DEMONSTRATIONS.

DESPAIR APPEARED TO BE IN SHORT SUPPLY IN SOUTH KOREA, THOUGH, AS IT WRAPPED UP THE LARGEST JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES THE COUNTRY’S HELD WITH THE UNITED STATES IN YEARS. FOR 11 DAYS, US AND SOUTH KOREAN GROUND FORCES DRILLED SIDE-BY-SIDE IN SIMULATED COMBAT SCENARIOS INVOLVING TROOPS AND HEAVY ARMOR. THE US AND SOUTH KOREA ALSO CONDUCTED FIVE DAYS OF JOINT AERIAL DRILLS. ANOTHER ROUND OF JOINT NAVAL EXERCISES IS ALSO ON THE DOCKET.

FOR MORE REPORTING ABOUT THE RISING TENSIONS ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA AND THE US INVOLVEMENT, LOG ONTO STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM, WHERE YOU’LL ALWAYS FIND THE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS.