North Korea supplied submarines to Iran

According to the Asahi Shimbun:

Seoul and Washington have confirmed that North Korea supplied Iran with submarines several years ago, showing that military exchanges between the two countries have reached a higher level, military sources said.

The exports were 130-ton Yono-class midget submarines, the same model as the one believed to have torpedoed the South Korean warship Cheonan near the disputed western sea border with North Korea, killing 46 sailors on March 26.

Iran and North Korea had initially cooperated in ballistic missile technology. They have expanded this cooperation to warships and uranium-enrichment technology in recent years, the sources said.

The U.S. government recently provided South Korea with several photos of a Yono-class submarine taken at an Iranian port around 2007, according to the sources.

The photos were given for the investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan.

One of the photos showed a crane moving a submarine and people believed to be Iranian officials, according to the sources.

South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense late last month said a Yono-class submarine was built in a shipyard for special vessels in Pyongyang in June 2004.

The submarine was likely built primarily for export, according to the sources.

Different sources said the South Korean and U.S. governments also confirmed around 2008 that Iran possessed a 120-ton Ghadir-class submarine, which looks almost identical to the Yono-class sub.

The Iranian submarine could have been a remodeled North Korean submarine or it may have been built based on North Korea’s design, according to the sources.

It has the potential to fire the CHT-02D torpedo, parts of which were found in the wreckage of the Cheonan, the sources said.

Iran imported the submarines likely for strategic purposes in the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, according to one of the sources.

North Korea’s military cooperation with Iran moved into high gear after Pyongyang began supplying a number of advanced short-range Scud-B missiles around 1987.

Funds from Iran helped North Korea develop the Nodong medium-range missiles. The Nodong technology was used to develop Iran’s Shahab missiles.

Iran has also provided North Korea with uranium-enrichment technology, according to the sources.

Planeman has more

Daily NK has more.

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North Korea supplied submarines to Iran
The Asahi Shimbun
Yoshihiro Makino


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