In August, the North Korean ballistic missile test submarine, Gorae, successfully fired a missile—designated by the North Koreans as Polaris-1 but by the United States as KN-11—to a range of 500 km. Because it followed a lofted trajectory, the missile did not fly to its maximum potential range, which probably is between 1,000 and 1,200 km (approximately 540 to 650 nautical miles). The Gorae is a single-tube submarine used mainly for tests, but the Sinpo shipyard is being upgraded, and an apparent component of a considerably larger submarine has been spotted there. A submarine with up to four launch tubes reportedly is planned for completion in 2017. Given the usual time required for research, development, test, and evaluation, the North Koreans could have an operational ballistic missile submarine by 2020, barring significant problems.
World Naval Developments - What Would Deter North Korea's Nuclear Weapons?
By Norman Friedman<p>