— NK NEWS (@nknewsorg) March 26, 2017
It looks like the North Koreans blew themselves up again:
A North Korean missile fired Wednesday exploded “within seconds of launch,” according to US Pacific Command.
US officials confirmed North Korea had attempted to launch a missile near Kalma, on the country’s east coast, but early reports suggest it failed.“South Korea and the US are aware of the missile launch and to their knowledge North Korea’s missile was not successfully launched,” South Korea’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.Neither the US nor South Korea have released information on what type of missile was fired, or why it failed. The US Pacific Command said it was working with partners to assess it further. [CNN]
There doesn’t seem to be much details about what is new about this rocket engine. My guess would be it is using solid and instead of liquid fuel which means it is easier to hide the missiles and quickly fire them:
North Korea claimed it successfully tested a powerful new rocket engine on Sunday, signaling defiance as the U.S. secretary of state visited China.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observed the test of a new high-thrust engine at dawn at the Sohae satellite launching pad, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.
It quoted him as saying the test “declared a new birth of the Juche-based rocket industry.” Juche, or self-reliance, refers to the communist state’s official ideology.
The test occurred as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Tillerson is pushing for closer China-U.S. cooperation on dealing with the growing threat from North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
China was the last stop on his three-country tour that also took him to South Korea and Japan.
Tillerson has suggested President Donald Trump’s administration may adopt a tougher strategy toward the North. In Seoul, he warned that the U.S. would consider pre-emptive military action if the threat reaches a level “that we believe requires action.”
KCNA said the “Korean-style” engine was developed by the Academy of the National Defense Science. [Stars & Stripes]
You can read more at the link.
This makes me wonder if this how the Kim regime plans to welcome whoever the next ROK President is, with a nuclear test?:
North Korea is continuing to excavate a tunnel at its nuclear test site, which may support an explosion up to 14 times more powerful than its last test, according to U.S. analysts Saturday.
Satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the northeast shows that substantial tunnel excavation is continuing at the North Portal, where the last four of the five underground nuclear tests by the North were conducted, according to the analysis posted at 38 North, a website run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
“The continued tunneling under Mt. Mantap via the North Portal has the potential for allowing North Korea to support additional underground nuclear tests of significantly higher explosive yields, perhaps up to 282 kilotons (or just above a quarter of a megaton),” said the article written by analysts Frank Pabian, a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) fellow, and David Coblentz, an earth and environmental science expert at Los Alamos National Laboratory. [Yonhap]
You can read more at the link.