With so many imponderables already surrounding the crisis with North Korea, we can add one more — missing North Korean submarines.
Does North Korea have subs? If so, how many and what are their capabilities? How old are they? How quiet are they? Surely none are nuclear-powered, so they would need periodic refueling. While answers are available to some of those questions, serious issues remain. Such are the problems with just one aspect of this crisis, but it could be one of the more vexing issues.
If these diesel-electric subs can evade detection when running on batteries, could they deliver a weapon to the U.S. homeland? It’s a terrible possibility to contemplate. Yet if we’ve thought of it, certainly military planners have given it much thought as well. Perhaps news of missing North Korean submarines is nothing to be concerned about as the U.S. Navy knows where all of them are at all times and could sink them all in an afternoon. But only the Navy knows that and they obviously aren’t telling.
More on page two.