World News

Thursday 24 July 2014

Kim Jong-un's love for 'obsolete' Romeo submarine

David Blair

Published 17/06/2014|02:30

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un proudly inspects the KPA Naval Unit, offering navigation tips and stern battle orders to the submarine’s captain. Reuters/KCNA.

The admirals of the Soviet Union declared North Korea's prize submarine to be obsolete back in 1961, and Western experts stubbornly point out its inability to sink enemy vessels.

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But Kim Jong-un, the "Supreme Leader" of North Korea, offered navigation tips and issued stern battle orders during a proud tour of a Romeo class submarine of the People's Navy.

Designed in the 1950s, the vessel was in production for the Soviet Union for only 48 months until being succeeded by nuclear-powered submarines 53 years ago.

Every other navy in the world then gave up on the Romeo, with its noisy and easily detectable diesel engine – apart, that is, from North Korea's.

Mr Kim's decision to pay a high-profile visit seems at odds with the official doctrine of the so-called People's Navy, which stresses the importance of concealment. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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