A U.S. intelligence satellite detected North Korean forces loading anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat in the last few days.
Fitting the patrol boats with missiles that could seriously damage and possibly sink larger Naval vessels, illustrates the rogue communist regimes unwillingness to halt its missile programs.
“It’s a trend that does not bode well for hopes of de-escalating tensions on the [Korean] peninsula,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said while in the Philippines on Monday.
Two Stormpetrel anti-ship cruise missiles were loaded on a single Wonsan guided-missile boat at the east coast port of Toejo Dong. While this is the first time western intelligence has seen anti-ship missiles loaded on a seagoing platform since 2014, North Korea test fired an anti-ship missile from a land-based launcher in June of 2017 against a stationary sea-based target. It did hit the ship at a range of about 125 km, but it is unclear if the North Korean’s possess the guidance capability to hit moving ships.
Several American and South Korean ships carry the Aegis combat system which can launch interceptor missiles to destroy incoming anti-ship threats.
The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to place stricter sanctions on North Korea. But North Korea’s president, Kim Jong-un, doesn’t appear to be listening.