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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

"In wartime, truth is so precious that
she should always be attended by
a bodyguard of lies."
Winston Churchill

Missiles - Overview

On 09 May 2019 North Korea fired what appears to be two short-range ballistic missiles, South Korea's military said Thursday. It was the second time Pyongyang fired missiles in less than a week. On 03 May 2019 North Korea test-fired a short-range missile, in Pyongyang’s latest small-scale provocation following the breakdown of nuclear talks.

Trump tweeted 25 May 2019 that Kim's military merely "fired off some small weapons." That's not true, international observers say: at least three short-range ballistic missiles were launched in "direct contravention of U.N. Security Council resolutions". Trump's own National Security Advisor contradicted him. John Bolton told reporters that "The UN Security Council resolution prohibits the launch of any ballistic missiles and there is no doubt that North Korea has violated the resolution." So did Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "On May 9th, North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles, and that's a violation of the U.N. Security Council's resolution, so, as I have been saying, this is quite a regrettable act," Abe told reporters.

But to Trump, it literally "doesn't matter." Speaking to reporters 27 May 2019, he said, "My people think it could have been a violation, as you know. I view it differently. I view it as a man — perhaps he wants to get attention, and perhaps not. Who knows? It doesn't matter." Trump was fixated on something else entirely with regard to North Korea: potential real estate deals. "Kim Jong Un understands the unbelievable economic potential that country has. It's located between Russia and China, on one side, and South Korea on the other. And it's all waterfront property. It's a great location, as we used to say in the real estate business. And I think he sees that."

The regime launched more than 20 ballistic missiles in 2015, but never an ICBM test, definitely a threatening factor for the international community. What's interesting to note is that nukes or missiles are some of key words that haven't been mentioned by Kim Jong-un in his New Year speeches since he started delivering them in 2012.

North Korea conducted at least 25 launches in the first 11 months of 2016, using ballistic missile technology, including launches of satellite, submarine-based ballistic missiles, and medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

The Taep'o dong-1 missile was test-fired in August 1998. In 1999 North Korea agreed to suspend tests of long-range missiles, and Pyongyang has extended that moratorium through 2003. In late 2000 the Clinton proposed an agreement under which North Korea would halt the production and testing of medium- and long-range missiles, as well as the export of missile technology. The US also accepted a North Korean proposal to provide two or three launches for North Korean satellites annually. By mid-2001 the new Bush Administration had returned to this general framework, though proposing new challenge inspections for number of sites in North Korea at short notice.

For many years, there has been a lack of understanding of the origins of North Korean strategic ballistic missile program. Equally absent from public the discussion about Missile Technology Control Regime is the assistance that Iran has provided to the North Koran strategic ballistic missile program and North Korea's contribution to Iran's strategic ballistic missile program.

Understanding the historical context of the relationship between Iran and North Korea will enhance the understanding of this potential strategic threat to the world. Understanding the impact of the Gorbachev era Soviet missile technology transfer to North Korea because of strategic arms reductions and its meaning to the Missile Technology Control regime (MTCR) and its impact globally can not be understated. This understanding is essential because of its implications in strategic arms control. In order to understand the true strategic threat requires a reasonable technical understanding of strategic systems and their historical and technical heritage. What follows is a discussion of what can be gleamed from the public intelligence on these various strategic issues.

In October 2003 a report released by the South Korean defense ministry estimated that North Korea had shipped over 400 SCUD-class ballistic missiles to the Middle East since the 1980s. The biggest buyers were Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, but also include Egypt and Libya.

North Korea is generally estimated to have about 500 Scuds in inventory The Korea Herald 08 May 2004]. But South Korea's defense ministry estimates that North Korea has about 600 Scuds and about 100 No dong-A missiles, Agency France-Presse reported on 07 May 2004. The [DPRK] North Korea was in 2008 credited by South Korea to have 800 deployed missiles but in March 2010 they were credited with 1,000 missiles deployed. That is 100-150 Scud-B's 300 Scud-C's, 350 Scud-ER's and 200 No-dong-A's equaling 1,000 deployed and perhaps 20 No-dong-B's in a single division identified. North Korea is also credited with having enough weapons grade plutonium to have created 6-8 nuclear device weapons that they will eventually be able to place inside a already perfected missile born re-entry vehicle to make a nuclear warhead according to South Korean government analysis.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un around February 2018 ordered the mass production of vehicles used for transporting and launching missiles including intercontinental ballistic missiles, Tomotaro Inoue of Kyodo News reported 23 December 2019. To cover the expense of acquiring parts for around 70 so-called transporter-erector-launchers from countries including China, tens of millions of dollars were allocated to trading entities under the ruling party's munitions department, according to a source familiar with China-North Korea relations. The disclosure indicates that North Korea is working on strengthening its nuclear and missile capabilities while engaging in negotiations with the United States, casting doubt on its willingness to abandon its nuclear program. U.S. intelligence officials who have acquired the same intelligence appear to be working to find out how many of the 70 TELs are intended for carrying ICBMs and how far their assembly has progressed.

North Korean/ Iranian Unha-2, Taep'o-dong-2B Evolutionary Development Family.

North Korean/ Iranian Launch vehicle Evolutionary Development Family through 2013

Tactical Missile Systems

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 11:32:08 ZULU