North Korea – Experts predict a ‘monster missile’ will be launched in April

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SentMarch 11, 2022, 10:49

The United States and South Korea accuse the North Korean regime of recently testing parts of the Hwasong-17 under the guise of those presented as satellite launch tests.

This undated photo, released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 10, 2022, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (centre) flying the Korean National Aeronautics and Space Development Administration from North to Pyongyang. It shows that you are inspecting it.

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AFP

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Claiming to run a satellite program, North Korea has developed a ‘monster missile’ that it can test in April that will change the balance of power in the region and test the toughness of South Korea’s new president.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said last year that developing the country’s military capabilities is a priority for the regime. Since January, Pyongyang has conducted nine missile tests, a record in such a short time. The main priority: to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying several conventional or nuclear warheads, each of which follows an independent trajectory, which is difficult to intercept by anti-missile systems of the United States.

This missile, the Hwasong-17, has been called a “monster missile” by military analysts. It was shown at a parade in Pyongyang in October 2020 and was never tested. But the United States and South Korea accuse the North Korean regime of testing parts of it under the guise of what has recently been presented as satellite launch tests.

North Korea has observed a self-imposed moratorium on ICBM launches since 2017. But international sanctions in retaliation for its missile and nuclear weapons program continue to weigh heavily on its economy, negotiations stall and many experts predict a imminent blow. “I think the moratorium is over. We should wait for the ICBM tests to resume,” said Ankit Panda, a US-based security analyst. Two missile tests, February 27 and March 5, “seemed to have been used, or possibly all, of the rocket engine seen on the ICBM Hwasong-17.” told.

“Day of the Sun”

Nor does he rule out the possibility that these two tests are related to a device that allows “to carry several heads to hit different targets with the same missile.”

Although North Korea launched ICBMs capable of reaching the west coast of the United States three times in 2017, it has not shown mastery of this technology to date.

Most analysts expect the chosen date for the launch of the “monster missile” to be April 15, “Sun Day,” the anniversary of North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung (this year is the 110th anniversary). The most important date in the North Korean political calendar. This potential test may come at a sensitive time in the region, as conservative Yoon Suk-yeol is just elected president in South Korea and replaces Moon Jae-in, a supporter of a thaw with the North in May.

“Rough Boy”

Yoon Suk-yeol defends determination against Pyongyang. He called Kim Jong-un a “rude kid” and promised to “teach him some manners”. He did not refuse to launch a preemptive attack against the North.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, said the risks of escalating such conflicts are increasing. It is likely that new sanctions will be adopted after the test of the super-missile, “to which Pyongyang will respond with further weapons tests.” “At the end of the day, tensions on the Korean peninsula are likely to escalate further,” warns Yang Moo-jin.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ehwa University in Seoul, says that after a nearly five-year hiatus from ICBM testing, Pyongyang “is trying to make room for diplomacy and avoid further sanctions”, but has never stopped working on missile diversification. And finally, he adds, “these weapons need to be tested to ensure their precision and reentry capabilities.” Washington accused North Korea of ​​preparing the launch “potentially as a space operation” and condemned a “serious escalation”.

According to state media, Kim Jong-un visited North Korea’s satellite test center on Thursday and called for its modernization and expansion. Some analysts find the US and South Korean reactions excessive and recall that Pyongyang has the right to develop a space program, even though civilian rockets have many features in common with ICBMs. “If you’re banned from owning a kitchen knife because you risk using it to kill someone, what will you do in your kitchen when you need to cook?” He asks Cheong Seong-Chang, a North Korea expert at the Sejong Institute.

(AFP)

Source From: Google News

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