Kim Jong-un's Elderly Prize Submarine Under Scrutiny

A submarine inspected amid great fanfare by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Monday was a Chinese-made 033-class vessel widely considered obsolete, media reports said Tuesday.

China modelled the 033-class submarines after the Soviet Union's Romeo-class submarine and exported seven of them to the North in the 1980s, according to the U.S.-based Chinese daily Duo Wei Times, four of them for free.

With a displacement of 1,800 tons, the submarine is propelled by two screws on two axles.

Currently, the North reportedly has some 20 033-class submarines, including 15 home-grown ones. / Jun. 18, 2014 11:18 KST