Monday, February 22, 2021

North Korea reportedly to unveil new intercontinental ballistic missile

Citing a report from South Korean officials, Yonhap reported that North Korea is preparing for the demonstration of the most-recent mobile intercontinental ballistic missile system during the upcoming military parade.

“The missile is larger than the one they fired in 2017 and we believe they will showcase that at a military parade on Oct. 10,” the official said. North Korea fired its first ICBM, Hwasong-15, in 2017 and appears set to stage a show of force on the founding anniversary of its ruling party.

Speculation continues to mount over North Korea’s unveiling of a more advanced ICBM, with some experts expressing reservations, contending that Pyongyang could not have developed newer technologies without outside help.

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The Hwasong-15 is a new intercontinental ballistic missile, also known as alternative US designation codename KN22, developed by North Korea.

According to a U.S. government source, one of the most notable features of the Hwasong-15, in addition to its sheer size, it is the configuration of its first-stage liquid-propellant engine. Unlike the Hwasong-14, which used a single thrust chamber along with four smaller vernier engines for steering, the Hwasong-15 appeared to used twin-chamber thrusters with no auxiliary engines for steering.

Also, a source reported that new missile has a payload from 150 kg to 1,000 kg at a range of 13,000 km.

The Seoul official added Pyongyang could unveil a newer submarine-launched ballistic missile as well as an enhanced submarine, pointing to intelligence that picked up signs of the activity involving the latest development at the North’s Sinpo South Shipyard along the east coast.

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About this Author

Daisuke Sato
Daisuke Sato
Daisuke Sato is defense reporter, covering the Asia-Pacific defense industrial base, defense markets and all related issues.

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