According to CNN

The submarine, named “Hero Kim Kun Ok,” was launched to much fanfare at a ceremony attended by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Googling Kim Kun Ok returns a long-distance runner, who won some Gold medals (but not in something super-prominent like the Olympics) and was later elected to North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly. Is the sub named after her or is that some other Kim Kun Ok?

  • 2
    Reuters says "after a North Korean historical figure" so I'm not sure it's after her. Sep 8, 2023 at 8:07
  • 2
    Is the 'Hero' a honorific or is that part of the name?
    – quarague
    Sep 8, 2023 at 9:04

1 Answer 1


According to this article by the Washington Post, it is named after a naval officer who served in the Korean war:

The submarine was named the Hero Kim Kun Ok, a North Korean naval leader who led an operation that, according to North Korean propaganda, sank the USS Baltimore in 1950, during the Korean War. The USS Baltimore was, in fact, decommissioned in 1947.

  • 6
    So he travelled back in time in order to sink the ship before the war even started. Very clever, if I might say so.
    – SJuan76
    Sep 8, 2023 at 16:13
  • 3
    Just because it was officially decommissioned in '47 doesn't mean that it suddenly stopped existing, so it could in theory have sunk three years later.
    – MikeB
    Sep 8, 2023 at 16:14
  • 13
    More precisely, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Baltimore_(CA-68), she decomissioned in July 1946, and was recomissioned in November 1951 serving in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. In January 1955 she transferred to the 7th fleet where she served between February and August. She went back into reserve in May 1956 and ultimately was scrapped in September of 1972. As noted in Wiki - "The actual battle involved USS Juneau as well as the Royal Navy's sloop HMS Black Swan and cruiser HMS Jamaica. Together they destroyed several North Korean torpedo boats without loss or damage."
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 8, 2023 at 16:42

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