Over 50 North Korean submarines have left their homeports, according to a local media report. “Seventy percent of North Korea’s submarines left their bases, and their locations are not confirmed,” a South Korean military official told Yonhap News.
According to South Korean military officials, this constitutes the largest deployment of North Korean submarines since the end of the Korean War. U.S. and South Korean aircraft as well as naval vessels have so far unsuccessfully tried to locate the subs, making it difficult to ascertain whether their deployment is just a show of force, or whether they have received specific instructions to target South Korean shipping in the event of an escalation. “No one knows. We are mobilizing all our surveillance resources,” said a South Korean military spokesperson.