S Korean Intel Doubts North's ICBM Technology Capabilities After Latest Test
15:47 11.07.2017(updated 16:32 11.07.2017)
North Korea is unlikely to possess intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) re-entry technologies needed for a fully functional missile despite the recent ICBM test, Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday, citing South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS).
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On July 4, Pyongyang said it carried out a successful launch of its first ICBM, the Hwasong-14, which fell into the Sea of Japan. N. Korean media reported that the missile's flight totaled 933 kilometers (580 miles) and reached a maximum altitude of 2,802 kilometers.
"Although North Korea claimed that heat resistance was verified, whether it re-entered was not confirmed and the country has no relevant test facility, making it look like it has not secured the technology," the NIS told the parliamentary intelligence committee, as quoted by Yonhap.
Reentry technologies involve ablators, high temperature insulation, thermal protection and sensors to ensure missiles' safe entry in the atmosphere without sustaining heat damage from friction.
The latest North Korean missile test came in response to the US-South Korean leaders' meeting on June 30, according to the NIS.
While the US believes that North Korea has successfully launched an ICBM for the first time, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the missile's type was medium-range, not intercontinental.
Washington and Seoul have a similar stance with regard to the so-called North Korean threat, an issue which is becoming more pressing with the increasing number of missile tests by Pyongyang. In July last year, the United States and South Korea agreed to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea's Seongju County.
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