Satellite images show two new North Korean frigates

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by Sea Eagle, May 19, 2014.

  1. Sea Eagle

    Sea Eagle Senior Member Senior Member

    Feb 16, 2014
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    Recent satellite images indicate that North Korea has launched two new frigates capable of carrying helicopters, reports China's official Xinhua news agency, citing a May. 15 report on 38 North, a blog run by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in the US.
    Joseph S Bermudez Jr, an expert in satellite imagery analysis and North Korea's military, told 38 North that the images were taken by commercial satellites between December last year and January 2014. One of the two new warships was spotted in Nampo on North Korea's western coast, while another was seen at the northeastern port of Rajin.
    Both frigates are capable of carrying helicopters and they are equipped with anti-submarine rocket launchers at the bow, Bermudez said, adding that the two identical ships appear designed for anti-submarine and fishery protection operations.
    Bruce Bennett, a senior defence analyst at the global policy thinktank Rand Corporation, said that the two vessels are larger than all other surface combat ships currently employed in the Korean People's Navy. They are in fact the largest warships constructed for the North Korean navy in two decades, he said. North Korea has many submarines as well as patrol boats, according to Bennett, but previously lacked larger surface combat vessels such as destroyers and frigates.
    This means that the launch of the two new warships will not dramatically increase the surface combat capability of Korean People's Navy, Bennett said, but added that the vessels can certainly boost the morale of its sailors.
    Meanwhile, the construction of the two new frigates demonstrates the will of Kim Jong-un, North Korea's supreme leader, and his determination to build up a powerful navy in Northeast Asia, Xinhua said. Kim is attempting to show the international community that Pyongyang is still developing its conventional force.

    Satellite images show two new North Korean frigates|Politics|News|

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