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Micro submarines – the hidden wolf pack of the Korean navy

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec23,2023 #Korean #Micro #submarines
Micro submarines - the hidden wolf pack of the Korean navy 0
Micro submarines - the hidden wolf pack of the Korean navy 0

The North Korean leader inspected the submarine number 748. Photo: AFP

On March 13, the South Korean and US militaries said they were still closely monitoring traces of a North Korean submarine missing in the country’s eastern waters since early last week, according to Reuters.

Accordingly, the submarine suddenly disappeared while performing a mission at sea, in the context of the US and South Korean militaries preparing to hold a large-scale annual exercise called Key Solution and Foal Eagle.

The Yugo submarine is a small submarine, only 21 meters long and 2.75 meters wide, mainly used by North Korea to perform reconnaissance and infiltration missions.

The Yugo class submarine was designed, manufactured and supplied to North Korea by the former Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia) since 1965. As a micro submarine, it has a standard displacement of about 90-110 tons, equipped with two

This is not the first time a North Korean Yugo-class submarine has encountered problems.

The above incidents prove that submarines are still a very important force for the North Korean military, and are the main tool for the country to implement the strategy proposed by expert Koh Swee Lean Collins of the Institute for Strategic and International Studies.

Golden era

In 2014, North Korea first publicized the image of its submarine fleet, when leader Kim Jong-un visited Squadron 167 of North Korea’s East Sea fleet.

Immediately, the media and many South Korean military officials criticized North Korea’s submarine force and the fleet’s true capabilities.

Micro submarines - the hidden wolf pack of the Korean navy

Two Yugo-class submarines were transferred by North Korea to Iran.

Mr. Kim Min-seok’s statement is not unfounded.

During this `golden era`, the North Korean navy was completely overwhelmed by South Korea’s, while the South Korean army mainly had to rely on old weapons that the US used in World War II.

However, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the North Korean navy lost a large source of support and began to enter a period of decline.

According to Mr. Collins, the 748 submarine, considered the most modern in North Korea today, is very outdated compared to today’s submarine standards.

What makes the most obvious difference of the Korean submarine fleet is the state-of-the-art combat systems, including integrated digital command, hydroacoustics and electronic warfare devices along with advanced features.


Expert Collins pointed out that although it does not possess modern technology, the fear of the North Korean navy does not come from massive submarines like the 748, but from microscopic submarines that can easily maneuver inside.

In 2010, the modern South Korean destroyer Cheonan sank after being hit by a torpedo, believed to have been launched by a North Korean microsubmarine.

Micro submarines - the hidden wolf pack of the Korean navy

The battleship Cheonan broke in half and sank into the sea after being hit by a torpedo.

In 1996, a North Korean Song-O class microsubmarine successfully landed a group of armed commandos on the Geungneung coast of South Korea.

Military analysts say that when North Korea realized it could not catch up with South Korea in naval technology, it sought to respond with its doctrine of asymmetric warfare at sea, and its fleet of micro submarines.

Not only performing reconnaissance missions and landing troops deep into enemy territorial waters, North Korean micro-submarines also play an important role in the anti-access strategy and prevention of landing ships of the US coalition.

With a very small size, North Korean micro-submarines are easy to camouflage and have the ability to maneuver flexibly between channels and small coastal islands.

Controlled by sailors familiar with the terrain, these micro-submarines are truly a fearsome and effective army when using `hit and run` tactics against US and Korean amphibious forces.

The disappearance of the Yugo-class submarine shows that despite becoming increasingly backward in technology, North Korea’s fleet of microsubmarines is still widely used by the country’s navy to carry out missions against South Korea.

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