North Korea reveals its new 'stealth' ship-destroyer in clear warning to Seoul and the US that it can strike their vessels without warning
- Pyongyang said high speed ship-destroyer project was 10 years in making
- Result is a high-speed hovercraft packed with sea-skimming missiles
- The ship-destroyer can target enemy vessels stationed 100 miles away
- Also boasts machine gun turrets, anti-aircraft missile launchers and a faceted hull, making it incredibly difficult to detect on radar
North Korea has released an official image of its new 'stealth' ship-destroyer in a clear warning to both South Korea and the U.S. that is able to launch deadly attacks on their vessels without warning.
State-run media said the high-speed cross between a catamaran and hovercraft was the result of a 10-year project and would enable it to attack any naval vessels North Korea considers to be a threat.
The air-cushioned ships are equipped with a rigid, faceted hull, allowing it to efficiently bounce along the surface of the ocean while also limiting its radar presence - making it incredibly difficult for target vessels to detect the ship-destroyer before it launches its deadly sea-skimming missiles.
Blast: North Korea has released this official image of its new 'stealth' ship-destroyer in a clear warning to both South Korea and the U.S. that is able to launch deadly attacks on their vessels without warning
State-run media said the high-speed cross between a catamaran and hovercraft was the result of a 10-year project and would enable it to attack any naval vessels North Korean leader Kim Jong Un considers a threat
Specific details of North Korea's new 131 foot long ship-destroyer are thin, but it is understood to have been fitted with small propeller fans to allow it to reach high speeds of approximately 100mph - double the top speed of the navy's second fastest hovercraft.
In terms of firepower, the ship-destroyer is thought to boast powerful Russian-made sea-skimming missiles called the KH-35 Uran, versions of which have a range of 135 nautical miles and have been compared with the U.S. Navy's Harpoon missile.
North Korea did not reveal detail of the maximum range of its KH-35 Uran missiles, though it did claim that during testing a ship-destroyer hit and sunk a target ship from more than 60 miles away.
For closer combat the ship-destroyer is fitted with two North Korean AK-630 30mm Gatling guns, four machine gun turrets and an anti-aircraft missile system, according to Ars Technica.
The ship-destroyer is the latest in a long line of hovercraft-type ship to be developed by the North Korean navy and there understood to be at least two more such vessels still in development.
Details of the ship-destroyer came as the South Korean navy carried out joint exercises with the U.S. military
Details of North Korea's new ship-destroyer came just two days after it test-fired five short-range missiles into the sea and after South Korean navy performed joint exercises with the United States
Details of North Korea's new ship-destroyer came just two days after it test-fired five short-range missiles into the sea - the second such weapons test conducted by Pyongyang this year - amid dimming prospects for the resumption of high-level talks between with its rival South Korea.
The missiles, fired from a North Korean coastal town, flew about 125 miles before landing in waters off the country's east coast, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.
North Korea routinely tests missiles, rockets and artillery, but the latest launches came with the two Koreas at odds over terms for a possible summit meeting between their leaders.
The two countries last month floated the idea of the summit, which would be the third such meeting since they were divided 70 years ago.
Last year, the North conducted an unusually large number of missile and other weapons tests, drawing protests from South Korea.
The North still proposed a set of measures that it said would lower tensions, but South Korea rebuffed them, saying the country must first take steps toward nuclear disarmament.
The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
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