The Arctic has already been explored extensively by people traversing over the ice, by air and by naval submarines.
On August 3, 1958, the American submarine USS Nautilus (SSN-571) reached the North Pole without surfacing. It then proceeded to travel under the entire Polar ice cap. On March 17, 1959, the USS Skate (SSN-578) surfaced on the North Pole and dispersed the ashes of explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins. These journeys were part of military explorations stimulated by the Cold War context.
The USS Nautilus was part of the the US Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory, which undertook numerous submariner explorations of the Arctic.
The research culminated in the transpolar submerged voyage of USS Nautilus in 1958 and included scores of under-ice cruises to gain scientific knowledge essential to Arctic submarine operations.
The Soviet Union did a similar exercise to the USS Nautilus expedition in 1962.
Following the 1958 voyage of USS Nautilus, the Leninskiy Komsomol (named for Vladimir Lenin's Komsomol) traveled under the Arctic ice and surfaced at the North Pole on 17 July 1962.
US submarine activity is still on going.
Two U.S. Navy fast-attack submarines will surface near the North Pole over the course of the exercise (see video below of the first of these, the USS Toledo, surfacing on March 4, 2020). The submarines will also conduct several transits through the region.
The US is not the only country to have submarines in the Arctic, it's also part of Russia's backyard.
Non-military organizations are also exploring the Arctic,
Since 1997, the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) has been the authoritative source of bathymetry for the Arctic Ocean.