North Korea carries out a test of an ‘underwater nuclear weapons system,’ as reported by state media.

North Korean state media published these images of the "underwater nuclear system" when the drones were revealed in April 2023

North Korean state media published these images of the “underwater nuclear system” when the drones were revealed last April

North Korea asserts that it has conducted a trial of its “underwater nuclear weapons system” in response to joint military exercises conducted by the US, South Korea, and Japan this week. The purported test of its nuclear-equipped underwater drones occurred off the east coast, according to state media. Although North Korea has previously claimed trials of its “Haeil-5-23” system, the legitimacy of these weapons remains unverified by independent sources. The latest provocation has yet to receive a response from South Korea and its allies. This development follows heightened military activities by North Korea, including the claimed deployment of a new solid-fuelled intermediate-range ballistic missile and live-fire drills at the maritime border with South Korea.


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has adopted an increasingly aggressive policy stance, abandoning several peace agreements in recent months. In response to joint drills by the US, South Korea, and Japan, North Korea conducted the underwater weapons test, citing the exercises as a threat to its security and a destabilizing factor in the region. The US, South Korea, and Japan argue that their joint exercises serve as a deterrent in response to North Korea’s frequent military actions, which include nuclear ballistic missile tests and the introduction of new weaponry, all of which violate UN sanctions.

North Korea says conducts test of underwater nuclear weapons system - The  Economic Times

Despite North Korea’s claims of building up its military arsenal for potential conflict, analysts remain cautious, viewing the underwater weapons as less significant compared to the regime’s nuclear ballistic missiles. The Haeil system, described as unmanned, underwater nuclear-armed drones capable of infiltrating enemy waters for large underwater explosions, is still in a developmental stage, according to experts. Meanwhile, North Korea has declared success in launching a spy satellite into space, with plans to launch three more in the coming year. The functionality of the satellite has not been independently verified, but South Korea suggests that Russia assisted North Korea in achieving this milestone, allegedly receiving arms in return for its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. High-profile meetings between North Korean officials and Russian leaders in the past year have added complexity to the geopolitical landscape.



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