Commercial satellite imagery of the Sinpho South Shipyard from October 28, 2021 indicates continued activity around North Korea’s SINPO-class experimental ballistic missile submarine consistent with preparations for additional testing of submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
First, a mobile crane, which has been used to load missile canisters into both the submarine and the submersible test barge during previous tests, is positioned next to the submersible test barge. The crane was most recently observed alongside the submarine on October 20, following a reported at-sea test of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) earlier this month.
Additionally, the rotatable ring mount’s cover at the center of the submersible barge has been removed, possibly in order to insert a missile canister into the ring mount.
Figure 1. Overview of the secure boat basin, October 20-28, 2021.
“Academy of Defence Science Succeeds in Test-Launch of New Style SLBM,” KCNA, October 20, 2021.