US Korea Institute

Saturday May 27th 2017
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John Schilling

John Schilling is an aerospace engineer with more than twenty years of experience, specializing in missile and spacecraft propulsion and mission analysis. Dr. Schilling received his Ph.D. in astronautical engineering from the University of Southern California, and has spent most of his career supporting US civil and military space programs. His analysis of North Korean strategic weapons is supported by the 38 North project and does not represent the opinion of the United States Government or any of its contractors.

North Korea’s New Hwasong-12 Missile

North Korea’s New Hwasong-12 Missile

(Photo: Rodong Sinmun) By now, we have at least learned the name of the new missile North Korea tested on May 14: the Hwasong-12. We also have photos of the launch, as we have come to expect from the North following a successful high-profile missile test. Those photos provide us with some information about this new missile but still leave us [...]

The Pukguksong-2 Approaches Initial Operational Capability

The Pukguksong-2 Approaches Initial Operational Capability

Following a successful flight-test this weekend, North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency  announced that the KN-15 (Pukguksong-2) medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) will now enter mass production and begin operational deployment. The missile probably isn’t truly operational at this stage, but is more likely entering a pre-operational [...]

North Korea’s Latest Missile Test: Advancing towards an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) While Avoiding US Military Action

North Korea’s Latest Missile Test: Advancing towards an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) While Avoiding US Military Action

North Korea’s latest successful missile test represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile. The missile would have flown a distance of some 4,5oo kilometers if launched on a maximum trajectory. It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that might enable them to [...]

North Korea’s “Carrier-Killer” May Be No Such Thing

North Korea’s “Carrier-Killer” May Be No Such Thing

The missile rumored to be KN-17 is displayed during a military parade in Pyongyang on April 18 (Photo: Reuters) Details are still scarce on last Friday’s missile test, but it appears to have been the missile provisionally named “KN-17” and described in sensational press reports as a “Carrier-Killer.” We have seen this missile before, [...]

How to Hack and Not Hack a Missile

How to Hack and Not Hack a Missile

With a shortage of good options on the table for dealing with North Korea’s strategic weapons, there is an understandable temptation to look for unconventional alternatives. So-called “cyberwarfare” is definitely unconventional and the appeal is obvious. Whether one wants to meddle in an election, stop an offensive movie release or derail a [...]

A New Engine for a New Satellite Launch Vehicle?

A New Engine for a New Satellite Launch Vehicle?

North Korea continues its new practice of releasing colorful audiovisual presentations of Kim Jong Un watching ground tests of rocket hardware, presumably as a way of signaling constant progress in the development of North Korean space and missile systems. This weekend’s test was of an integrated propulsion system for a large rocket or missile. [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.