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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

N.Korea may be developing new solid-fuel missile

NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) 24 August 2017

North Korea's state-run media reports suggest the country may be developing a new land-based solid-fuel ballistic missile.

State media on Wednesday showed photos of leader Kim Jong Un visiting a missile development institute.

One photo shows a display about an underwater strategic ballistic missile named "Pukguksong-3," which could refer to a new submarine-launched missile. The photo also shows a diagram of a 3-stage missile called "Hwasong-13."

In May, North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile "Hwasong-12," and the country last month fired 2 "Hwasong-14" missiles, which it claims were ICBMs. Those missiles had liquid-fuel rocket engines.

North Korea has not officially reported on the existence of the "Hwasong-13."

But because the institute Kim visited is known to be developing solid-fuel rocket engines, it could also be working on a new land-based solid-fuel ballistic missile that can be launched faster than liquid-fuel rockets.

North Korea's neighbors are on alert for possible provocations as the country on Friday marks an anniversary designated by former leader Kim Jong Il to commemorate the start of the North's "military-first" policy.

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