UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Hwasong-14 - 04 July 2017 - 1st Test

North Korean state television announced on 04 July 2017 that the "landmark" test of a Hwasong-14 missile was overseen by the state's leader Kim Jong-Un. The missile reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles) and flew 933 kilometers, the TV report claimed. The North was "a strong nuclear power state" and had "a very powerful ICBM that can strike any place in the world" the TV announcer said. A further announcement is due later in the day.

North Korea's state-run Korean Central TV claimed that the missile was a newly developed ICBM. "Our scientists and technicians have developed and successfully test-launched a new ICBM called Hwasong-14." North Korea claims the missile had an airborne time of 39 minutes and hit its target in the East Sea with precision. "The missile was fired vertically and did not threaten the safety of neighboring countries. The ICBM reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometers and flew a distance of 933 kilometers."

It reached a height of 1,741 miles which was 400 miles higher than the earlier May 14 launch. The Hwasong-14 was claimed to have a range of 10,000 km and can reach anywhere in the world — a range greater than 5,500 km is an ICBM. This was the DPRK's 11th missile launch this year and their expertise cannot be denied. It is quite likely that they already have a warhead to fit since rational thinking suggests concurrent development.

The U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists conducted an analysis of the flight time and distance and concluded that on a standard trajectory the missile could have a maximum range of more than 6,700 kilometers. That would make it capable of hitting all parts of Alaska but short of reaching the U.S. mainland or Hawaii. However the report added that a lack of information makes it hard to determine if the latest launch was a modified version of the intermediate-range Hwasong-12 launched in mid-May. If their report is correct, however, North Korea now has a weapon that meets the technical definition of an ICBM, which requires a minimum range of 55-hundred kilometers.

Donald Trump stated " North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea.... and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!" Trump had responded earlier, saying 02 January 2017 North Korea would not be allowed to create a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the US. "North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!"

South Korea's military said that North Korea had fired the missile into the Sea of Japan from a northern province near the border with China. "North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile into the East Sea from the vicinity of Banghyon, North Pyongan Province, at around 9:40 a.m. (0040 UTC)," the news agency Yonhap quoted the Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying. South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who held a national security council meeting, said the missile was thought to be an intermediate range type. However, he said the military was also investigating the possibility it was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Japan's defense ministry said the missile may have landed in its exclusive economic zone -- an area extending 200 nautical miles from the coast. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters: "This launch clearly shows that the threat has grown."

North Korea is close to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile after several nuclear tests, the state's leader Kim Jong Un said 01 January 2017. He also urged the US to stop their "anachronistic" policy towards his country. The isolated state has "soared" as a nuclear power, Kim Jong Un said in his New Year's address on Sunday. North Korea was now a "military power of the East that cannot be touched by even the strongest enemy," said Kim. The nation was preparing a test launch of an international ballistic missile, and the process has already "reached the final stage," he insisted.

Some Western analysts saw design elements in the new North Korean missile engine similar to the 1960s-era Soviet RD-250 engine used on the first stage of the R-36-0 [SS-9 SCARP] ICBM of OKB Yangel and the derivative Tsyklon 2 launcher. The Glushko RD-250 (GRAU Index 8D518) is a dual nozzle family of liquid rocket engines burning N2O4 and UDMH, part of the RD-215 family of engines [which includes 16 variants]. For instance, the RD-218 consisted of three RD-217. It had 6 combustion chambers and 3 turbines. It powered the R-16 [SS-7 SADDLER] ICBM of OKB Yangel.

The common feature here is that these missiles were designed and built in Ukraine. This suggests a second line of post-SOviet leakage, in addition to the OKB Makayev leakage from Russia. While the designer [Glushko] is in Russia, the missile designers and constructors in Ukraine would have had intimate knowledge of these engines. Ukraine is hopelessly corrupt, and it is not too hard to imaginge money changing hands for some old rocket motors and a few Ukrainian engineers to help bring them back to life.

Pyongyang had so far conducted five nuclear tests, shrugging off international sanctions which aggravated the already poor economic situation in a tragically impoverished country. North Korea claimed one of those tests was for a hydrogen-based weapon. Some experts disputed the claim, saying that all weapons tested were comparably less destructive atom bombs. There had also been contrasting reports on Pyongyang's ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and mount it on a missile. An ICBM projectile, armed with a small nuclear warhead, could potentially be used by North Korea against targets on US soil.

Page last modified: 11-08-2017 17:12:28 ZULU