02:31 GMT21 April 2021
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - Taipei has never cooperated with North Korea on submarine technology, receiving help on the project only from European nations and the United States, Taiwan’s defence ministry has said.

    "We have never had any contact with North Korea and only cooperate with European and American partners for our submarine R/D", the ministry tweeted, labeling the article as "fake news."

    On Thursday, The National Interest published an article, mentioning that Taiwanese media reported in 2019 about Taipei and Pyongyang discussing the transfer of North Korean submarine technology to Taiwan.

    ​Back in 2016, Taiwan initiated its domestic submarine project to replenish its aged fleet, consisting of four submarines, with eight new ones. The first submarine, which will cost Taipei $1.7 billion, is expected to be ready by 2024 and be put into operation in 2025. The construction began at a CSBC Corporation shipyard in November.

    The US, along with many other countries, does not recognise Taiwan as a sovereign nation and officially sticks to the "One China" policy. Nevertheless, Washington has kept informal relations with the island and is selling billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Taiwan.

    China, which views Taiwan as its breakaway province, is uneasy over its cooperation with Washington, especially in defense.

    Tags:
    submarines, Taiwan
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