North Korea has lost contact with one of its submarines off the east coast of the country, CNN reports citing US officials. The U.S. is unsure whether the missing vessel is adrift at sea or has sunk, officials said.
US spy satellites, aircraft and ships observed as the North Korean navy searched for the missing submarine for several days, the officials said. The United States is unaware of the submarine’s current whereabouts.
CNN cited three unidentified U.S. officials saying that U.S. spy satellites, aircraft and ships have been secretly watching the North's navy searching for the missing submarine for days.
U.S. officials believe the submarine "suffered some type of failure during an exercise," though it's unclear if the vessel is adrift under the sea or if it sank, the report said.
The US Naval Institute (USNI) News said the submarine was presumed sunk. "The speculation is that it sank," an unidentified US official was quoted as telling the USNI News. "The North Koreans have not made an attempt to indicate there is something wrong or that they require help or some type of assistance."
Last week, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, according to the South Korean military.