US Korea Institute

Wednesday September 28th 2016
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WMD

The realities of North Korea’s WMD ambitions are complex but so are the technological developments that make its programs possible. We will help our readers understand both.

North Korea-Iran Missile Cooperation

North Korea-Iran Missile Cooperation

North Korea’s ground test of a powerful, liquid-fueled engine on September 20, and the launch of three modified-Scud missiles earlier this month renewed allegations that Pyongyang and Tehran are collaborating on ballistic-missile development. The accusations are mostly speculative, based largely on the apparent similarities of ballistic missiles [...]

North Korea’s Largest Engine Test Yet

North Korea’s Largest Engine Test Yet

Summary On September 20, KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un had overseen the testing of a large new rocket engine at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station. They claimed this new engine had a thrust of 80 tons and would be use for a new space launch vehicle. Rocket engine thrust isn’t normally measured in “tons,” and there is some ambiguity [...]

What to Make of North Korea’s Latest Nuclear Test?

What to Make of North Korea’s Latest Nuclear Test?

Image: Shutterstock On September 9, 2016, seismic stations around the world picked up the unmistakable signals of another North Korean underground nuclear test in the vicinity of Punggye-ri. The technical details about the test will be sorted out over the next few weeks, but the political message is already loud and clear: North Korea will [...]

North Korea’s SLBM Program Progresses, But Still Long Road Ahead

North Korea’s SLBM  Program Progresses, But Still Long Road Ahead

The success of North Korea’s latest submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test suggests the program may be progressing faster than originally expected. However, this does not mean it will be ready next week, next month, or even next year. Rather, the pace and method of the North’s SLBM testing would suggest possible deployment in an [...]

Monitoring the Threat: a Timeline of North Korean Missile Tests 2013-2016

Monitoring the Threat: a Timeline of North Korean Missile Tests 2013-2016

Introduction by John Schilling (Photo: Rodong Sinmun) In a simpler time, it was sufficient to google “North Korean 2006 Missile Test” and find that, yes, the North Koreans conducted a single missile test in 2006 along with all the accompanying data known. But things aren’t that simple anymore. Now if you search for information on [...]

A Partial Success for the Musudan: Addendum

A Partial Success for the Musudan: Addendum

North Korea has just released an image of Kim Jong Un posing in front of a Musudan missile (Hwasong-10) with the reentry vehicle removed. In addition to showing the grid fins in their stowed configuration, this view shows us the missile’s guidance package. The resolution is not high enough to positively identify specific components or [...]

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