North Korea has claimed to have tested a new nuclear-capable underwater drone that could create a “radioactive tsunami” that would destroy enemy naval vessels and ports.
The drone, called the “Unmanned Underwater Nuclear Attack Craft ‘Haeil,’” was tested from March 21 to 23, cruising in waters off the country’s east coast for more than 59 hours before its test warhead was detonated on Thursday afternoon.
The drone has been in development since 2012 and has undergone more than 50 tests in the past two years. It can be deployed from any port or towed by a surface ship to begin its operations.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the exercise and said the weapon “verified its reliability and safety and fully confirmed its lethal strike capability”
Analysts expressed skepticism about North Korea’s claims and said Pyongyang offered no proof of the drone’s existence or performance. They also questioned the wisdom of allocating limited fissile material for such a weapon instead of more road-mobile ballistic missiles.