North Korea’s recent missile test during the G-20 forum was more than a show of force, analysts claim. The communist country also tested a type of missiles that can fend off U.S. missile defense systems in S. Korea.
Analysts explained that the this Monday’s missiles had a medium-range. But they also bore a warhead which can detach from the missile after launch. If experts at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ East Asia Nonproliferation Program are right, Pyongyang has already an edge against its adversaries in a future conflict.
What’s more, North Koreans fired a pair of missiles at the same time. Experts explained that simultaneous launches make it hard for defense systems to detect and offset enemy projectiles. Moreover, if warheads can separate from the body of the rocket, missile defense systems can lose sight of them. This is because they’re incredibly small and a lot faster.
N. Korea Has ‘Clear’ Goal
Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program, noted it isn’t the first time North Korea tests its missiles. Lewis believes that Pyongyang is beefing up its long-distance military arsenal with a “clear” goal: using nuclear weapons in an eventual conflict with the U.S.
Earlier this week, the U.N. Security Council slammed North Korea for the latest missile launch. The U.N. pledged to set in place “further significant measures” if Pyongyang keeps infringing bans on ballistic and nuclear missile tests.
In spring, the council penalized North Korea for its fourth nuclear test.
Analysts currently look into dozens of photos and propagandistic video material the N. Korean state media has recently published. Experts said that North Korea showcases a better version of Rodong missiles in a recent video:
The improved versions can hit at longer ranges, experts noted.
Other Missile Tests
In August, North Koreans performed a ballistic missile test from a submarine. The country boasts that the projectile has an estimated maximum range of 600 miles. Additionally, a submarine carrying such weapons could easily destroy an anti-missile system while dodging its radars.
In other words, America’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems in South Korea would become easy targets with almost no ability to defend themselves, experts cautioned. Furthermore, the new underwater ballistic system runs on solid fuel which means that it can start to fire more rapidly than its liquid-fueled counterparts.
A few months ago, Pyongyang carried out a different type of test. North Koreans successfully tested the so-called Musudan. The system has an intermediate range, but it is powered by a Soviet rocket engine. Plus, an enhanced propellant may soon enable the missile system to deploy a nuclear bomb over the U.S. bases in Guam, which is located 2,128 miles from North Korea.
Experts also suspect that a satellite the communist regime put into orbit in February may help it bolster its long-range missile tech. Also, analysts don’t expect North Korea to end the missile program anytime soon, as the White House apparently has its hands tied on the issue.
Image Source: Wikimedia