Tension grows over 'lost' North Korean submarines as South Korea searches for vessels

Military officials said deployment of the submarines was the largest in the region since the Korean War

Donald Kirk
Monday 24 August 2015 11:40
Comments

The mystery of 50 missing North Korean submarines deepened fears yesterday over Pyongyang’s threat to fire across the border.

South Korea yesterday said the submarines, comprising about 70 per cent of a North Korean submarine fleet, had left their home ports and were nowhere to be found.

US and South Korean reconnaissance planes and naval vessels searched yesterday off the east and west coasts of the Korean peninsula for the submarines. Military officials said deployment of the submarines was the largest in the region since the Korean War.

The question is whether the 50 submarines, 1,400-ton Romeo-class and 1,000-ton Whiskey-class vessels, have orders to target commercial or naval vessels – or are just putting on a show of force. “No one knows,” said a military spokesman. “We are mobilising all our surveillance resources.”

Concern about the missing submarines compounded worries as North Korea doubled the amount of heavy artillery and other weapons massed on its side of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that has divided the two Koreas since the truce ending the Korean War was signed in 1953.

The artillery equipment that has been moved forward will be able to fire accurately on the banks of huge loudspeakers on the South Korean side of the 4km-wide DMZ, which have been broadcasting news and music loud enough to be heard by North Korean troops at least 10 miles away.

Signs of impending North Korean attack grew as talks continued for a second day between the two countries in Panmunjom, in the middle of the DMZ, yesterday evening.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in