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North Korea Tests New Ballistic Missile

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  • North Korea Tests New Ballistic Missile

    North Korea's 'Game Changing' New Missile Is More Stable, More Efficient - And Harder To Detect

    February 13, 2017

    The new type of intermediate-range ballistic missile launched by North Korea on Sunday is a "game changer", according to analysts, because it uses a solid fuel engine that makes the weapon more stable and reduces the time required to fuel a missile before launch.

    The Pukguksong-2 is also road-mobile on tractor-erector-launcher units, analysts point out, all of which means that the weapon is more difficult to detect and neutralise before it is launched.

    "The liquid fuel engines that North Korea uses in all its medium- and long-range missiles are dangerous because the fuel is so corrosive and volatile", said Lance Gatling, a defence analyst and president of Tokyo-based Nexial Research Inc.

    "It is questionable if they have the capacity to store liquid rocket fuel for long periods and typically they tend to fuel their rockets just before launch", he told The Telegraph.

    In October, a launch unit for a Musudan ballistic missile was badly damaged when the weapon exploded. Five Musudan tests earlier in the year were also judged by South Korean intelligence to have been failures after they blew up in flight.

    North Korean state media has claimed that the missiles were deliberately destroyed.

    The benefit of a solid-fuel engine - probably using ammonium perchlorate - is that the fuel is extremely stable, can be easily stored and the weapon is ready to be fired virtually immediately, Mr Gatling said.

    "If they have made a solid-fuel engine that works, then that is a great advance", he said.

    "It's a game-changer in the sense that a solid fuel rocket can be kept in ambient temperatures before being launched with a very short preparation time".

    South Korean intelligence on Monday said that the new missile - fired at 7:55 am local time from Banghyon air base in North Pyongan Province - appears to be employing engine technology used in North Korea's successful submarine-launched missile programme.

    The weapon was initially identified as a Rodong missile and then a Musudan, until North Korea released video and still images of the launch on Monday - with state media declaring the weapon to be a "Korean-style, new-type strategic weapon system".

    The state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim Jong-un, the country's leader, as expressing "great satisfaction over the possession of another powerful nuclear attacks means, which adds to the tremendous might of the country".

    Intelligence estimates suggest that the Pukguksong-2 has an operational range of 3,000 km (1,860 miles), which is less than the 3,500 km (2,175 miles) of a Musudan. It is considered likely that now North Korean scientists have perfected solid fuel engine technology, they will seek to apply it to a new generation of missiles with longer ranges.

    Yonhap news quoted South Korea intelligence officials as saying that they are unsure whether a nuclear warhead can be fitted to the Pukguksong-2.

    Mr Gatling said it is "extremely unlikely" that North Korea has not factored a nuclear capability into the weapon.

    Hmm... Solid fueled, road mobile, cold launched... Wonder if they had any outside help?

  • #2
    Re: North Korea Tests New Ballistic Missile

    Trump Promises to Deal With North Korea ‘Very Strongly’

    February 13, 2017

    U.S. President Donald Trump promised to deal “very strongly” with North Korea after Kim Jong Un’s latest missile test demonstrated progress in his quest to develop longer-range nuclear weapons.

    Trump called the nation a “big, big problem” during a joint news conference at the White House on Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We will deal with that very strongly,” Trump said.

    Officials from South Korea, Japan and the U.S. held a video conference on Tuesday to share information on the missile test, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said. The three nations agreed the missile program posed a grave and consistent threat to the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, the ministry said, adding that the U.S. confirmed its “iron clad” commitment to defend its two Asian allies.

    The test launch North Korea carried early Sunday local time -- in the midst of a Trump summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- showed improvements in the country’s medium-range missile, the South Korean military said. The projectile flew 500 kilometers (310 miles) into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.

    While Trump has vowed to prevent North Korea from developing the capability to strike the U.S. with a missile, the administration hasn’t yet announced a detailed policy on the issue.

    Trump and Abe, who at the time of the launch were at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, responded with a joint rebuke. Abe said the missile test could “absolutely not be tolerated” and called on North Korea to fully comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions. Trump said that the U.S. “stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent.”

    China, which remains North Korea’s dominant trading partner, said Monday that it opposed the test and called on all sides to avoid escalating tensions. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the country would take a constructive and responsible role in discussions.

    The United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the missile launch in an emergency meeting on Monday. Members agreed to take more measures against North Korea while also stressing the need to reduce tensions in the region.


    • #3
      Re: North Korea Tests New Ballistic Missile

      U.S. Military Upgrading Patriot Missile System In Korea

      February 23, 2017

      The United States military in South Korea has begun to upgrade the Patriot missile system currently deployed on the peninsula.

      According to U.S. Forces Korea on Thursday, Patriot Advanced Capability-2, a solid-fuel, ground-launched interceptor designed to destroy tactical ballistic and cruise missiles will receive the latest PAC-3 modifications, South Korean newspaper Seoul Shinmun reported.

      The Patriot Advanced Capability 3 upgrade includes engineering services. U.S. manpower for the enhancement work arrived at Osan military base last week, according to the report.

      The U.S. military has said North Korea's missile provocations are driving the Korean peninsula into a "crisis," adding the Patriot upgrade would clearly grow defense capabilities on the Korean peninsula.

      U.S. Army Secretary Eric Fanning said during a visit to Korea in 2016 all Patriot upgrades would take place by 2018, according to Seoul Shinmun.

      The latest measures suggest the military may be accelerating its plans for deployment.

      On Feb. 12, North Korea tested an upgraded version of a submarine-launched ballistic missile it fired last August.

      The Pukguksong-2 was described as a "new solid-propulsion missile" by South Korea's military. It is believed to have a solid-fuel engine that would make it more stable and cut down the time required for fueling prior to launch.

      In early February The National Interest reported the United States and its global allies were looking into radar and targeting upgrades for the Patriot missile, so the system could deter against a wider range of drones, rotary wing aircraft and cruise missiles.