The Pentagon is detecting “highly unusual and unprecedented” activity of North Korea’s submarine fleet and evidence of an “ejection test” just days after the country’s second ICBM test.

The “ejection test” examines a missile’s “cold launch” system, which uses steam under extremely high pressure to propel a missile out of a launch tube into the air before the missile’s engines ignite. Pushing the missile into the air using steam prevents flames and heat from the engine damaging the submarine.

The “ejection test” was carried out at the Sinpo Naval Shipyardon Sunday and was the country’s third test this month – and their fourth this year. The “ejection” ability is essential to developing submarine launch capabilities, Time reports.

With a submarine able to carry a nuclear-tipped missile, literally every corner of the planet could be exposed to a North Korean nuclear threat.

Pyongyang fired either a KN-11 or a Pukguksong-1 missile from a submarine last summer, in what officials believe was the country’s first successful submarine missile test.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un claimed last week that “the entire U.S. territory is within our shooting range” after its latest missile launch, further ratcheting up tensions with Washington.

Monday’s ejection test came after Friday’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears to have the ability to hit most major US cities.

Speaking to reporters at his second cabinet meeting, President Donald Trump said his administration would be able to “handle North Korea.”

“We are gonna be able to handle them,” he said. “It will be handled. We handle everything.”

North Korea’s submarine fleet is believed to encompass about 70 subs, though the majority are quite old and likely cannot fire missiles.


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