Analysis of North Korea’s military policy and capabilities.
Summary North Korea’s latest Musudan (Hwasong-10) missile test finally demonstrated the full performance of the missile’s propulsion system, and at least a minimally functional guidance system. The trajectory was not representative of an operational launch, and so leaves open questions about the performance of the reentry vehicle. Perhaps [...]
North Korea has reportedly tried and failed to launch a Musudan missile for a third time in two months. It is not surprising that a new missile would fail on its first test, but previous North Korean practice has been to stand down for several months to a year before another attempt. Repeating a failed test again and again with no more than a [...]
Summary North Korea’s April 9 test of a large liquid-fuel engine is a disturbing development that not only highlights the growing threat posed by Pyongyang but should also put to rest, once and for all, all claims that the North’s WMD programs are a hoax. In fact, the test demonstrated that North Korea has an even greater capability at a [...]
North Korea recently showed images of a large solid-fuel rocket motor test that appears to have been both real and successful. The motor, much bigger than any solid-fuel motor previously seen in the North, is not appropriately sized to be used on any existing missile in Pyongyang’s stockpile. Rather, a more likely role for the motor is as the [...]
A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Henry Kan. On March 15, North Korean media carried photographs of Kim Jong Un as he observed and guided a test of the nose cone for what appears to be the KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) reentry vehicle. The photographs show a vertical engine test stand that, while [...]
(Photo: Rodong Sinmun) On March 9, KCNA and Rodong Sinmun announced that Kim Jong Un had visited a facility where he learned about North Korea’s progress in mating nuclear weapons to ballistic missiles. A subsequent television broadcast included more than dozen still images from the visit. Not only did Kim Jong Un pose with a number of [...]