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Tags: northkorea | missilelaunch | icbm

North Korea's Powerful New Missile Falls Short


By    |   Sunday, 04 December 2022 02:30 PM EST

North Korea has celebrated the recent launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), whose potency remains to be seen.

Kim Jong Un said the missiles are “monuments to be passed down to our descendants for generations to come,” as he promoted more than 100 military officials and scientists involved in missile development.

North Korea has stated the ICBM was the Hwasong-17’s newest generation of missiles. However, experts say it lacks the potential to be a genuine threat to the U.S.

The ICBM tested on Nov. 18 was launched at a lofted trajectory reaching altitudes of 3,700 miles or more and traveling about 620 miles. Japanese officials say it had a range covering the entire U.S. mainland.

“The launch is in support of the regime’s political warfare and blackmail diplomacy,” said David Maxwell, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

For Kim, possessing nuclear weapons is a way to prevent regime change. The country declared itself a “full-fledged nuclear power capable of standing against the nuclear supremacy of the U.S. imperialists” in an order signed by Pyongyang’s rubber-stamp parliament on Nov. 26, published by state media the following day.

Based on the Hwasong-17 length and diameter, it appears capable of delivering a larger payload than the previous Hwasong-15.

North Korea hasn’t shown successful lifts; to do so, the ICBM would require a post-boost vehicle that detaches from the missile’s main boosters outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, releasing multiple warheads at separate targets, said Chang Young-keun, a missile expert at Korea Aerospace University in South Korea. These components add the extra weight of up to 2 tons which diminishes the distance the missile can travel by 1,200 to 2,500 miles, he said.

“The next step for North Korea would be to miniaturize its warheads,” Mr. Chang said.

The Hwasong-17 would make a significant military and technological addition to Pyongyang’s existing ICBMs if equipped with a system that allows it to drop multiple warheads on different sites simultaneously. North Korea has yet to demonstrate that it has multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV) that can withstand extremely high temperatures during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Only a few countries, including the U.S., Russia and China, are known to have MIRV missile technology.

The other challenge North Korea faces is being able to deploy missiles without being detected by Washington or Seoul’s missile defense system. It has only tested the Hwasong-17 from the Sunan area, where a ballistic missile support facility is located. This may suggest the ICBM can only be fired from places designed explicitly for launches, such as Sunan International Airport. Still, it cannot be transferred to a discreet location, a weapons analyst said.

North Korea is developing solid-propellant ICBMs that are more responsive and operationally nimble, said Ankit Panda, a missile expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. North Korea’s ICBMs are liquid-fueled, meaning they can’t be launched immediately as they can’t be stored with fuel already loaded. The liquid fuels must be loaded into the missile before the launch. Erecting and fueling an ICBM can take hours, making it a target for interdiction.

Since declaring its nuclear force complete five years ago, the Kim regime has advanced its ballistic missiles and diversified its launching capabilities.

Pyongyang launched dozens of solid-fueled, short-range ballistic missiles with greater maneuverability designed to evade and penetrate missile defenses this year. Weapons analysts say these missiles are fully operational and capable of delivering nuclear payloads to South Korean, Japanese and U.S. military bases.

“The Hwasong-17 launch was political messaging aimed at pressuring Washington to accept Pyongyang as a de facto nuclear state,” said Park Won-gon, a professor of North Korean studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. “It’s a threat that they won’t stop developing more advanced weapons.”

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

North Korea has celebrated the recent launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), whose potency remains to be seen.Kim Jong Un said the missiles are "monuments to be passed down to our descendants for generations to come," as he promoted more than 100...
northkorea, missilelaunch, icbm
Sunday, 04 December 2022 02:30 PM
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