A 33m-long submarine is being assembled at a munitions factory in Chongjin, North Hamkyung Province, a source has revealed.
This is the first time that news of submarines being assembled at Hambuk Dockyard has come to light. The source from Chongjin said, “Since they have been keeping totally silent about it, it was not revealed. But they have been assembling and producing submarines for a long time.”
The source went on, “The submarine is being assembled at the munitions factory at Hambuk Dockyard.” He explained further, “They brought the 33m-long main body of the submarine from Bongdae Boiler Factory in Shinpo, South Hamkyung Province and are installing the innards like electronic devices.”
The time when the main body was brought to Hambuk Dockyard was around the time of the Party Delegates’ Conference on September 28 last year, according to the source.
At that time, munitions factories under the Second Economic Commission in charge of weapons production decided to commemorate February 16th with weapons production achievements.
The source said that in a convention of factory workers, cadres read out a resolution, “Let’s face the glorious Party Delegates’ Conference with achievements of high political passion,” and “After completing the assembly of a submarine before February 16th, let’s offer gifts of loyalty to the General.”
However, he explained the current situation, “Since the economic situation has gotten worse and workers are frequently absent, it has not been completed yet. Their enthusiasm has gradually disappeared.”
He also said, “Some of the workers who were involved in the production process stole imported equipment such as cables, high-tensile paint and manometers and sold them in the market in secret, causing a commotion.”
Hambuk Dockyard is one of the three biggest dockyards in North Korea alongside Najin and Yudae. There, the 7,500 workers can produce freight vessels up to a displacement of 14,000 tons.
Meanwhile, Shinpo Boiler Factory is a front company run by Shinpo Dockyard. The dockyard produces fishing boats and has around 1,500 workers. Since 1980, they have produced submarines, mini-submarines and hovercraft.