American and Russian Analysts Expect North Korea to Test ICBM Soon

I found it interesting in the below article how the North Koreans have pretty much told the Russians they plan to conduct a ICBM test in the near term.  If so it will be additionally interesting to see what trajectory they use to test its full capability because if it lands too close to Hawaii or Alaska it could give the Trump administration the excuse it needs to conduct an attack to destroy their nuclear and missile programs:

The next rocket launch by North Korea could be another Hwasong-12 (HS-12), which is a mobile, solid-fueled, nuclear-capable medium-range ballistic missile, or the Hwasong-14 (HS-14), first tested in July, which is believed to be a two-staged version of the HS-12, giving it a longer and intercontinental range.

“I think they are not done with testing the HS-12 into the Pacific. They also have yet to start testing the HS-14 at anything like its full range,” said Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

“Once they have done that a couple of times, I would be concerned about the potential for an atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific,” Pollack, also editor of the Nonproliferation Review, told VOA.

Russian media on Friday quoted a lawmaker in Moscow as saying North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile able to reach the West Coast of the United States.

The comment was made by Anton Morozov, a member of the Russian Duma’s international affairs committee, who was among lawmakers who returned home Friday after a four-day visit to Pyongyang for “high-level meetings.”

“They are preparing for new tests of a long-range missile. They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the West Coast of the United States,” Russian media quoted Morozov, a member of a right-wing populist party, as saying.

“As far as we understand, they intend to launch one more long-range missile in the near future,” Morozov explained. “And in general, their mood is rather belligerent.”  [VOA News]

You can read more at the link.

South Korea Fires Hyunmoo-2 Ballistic Missile In Response to North Korean Missile Test

Some how I doubt Kim Jong-un was impressed by this South Korean response to his recent missile test over Japan considering one missile did not even work:

South Korea’s military said Friday it has fired two ballistic missiles in a swift response to North Korea’s latest provocation.

The Army shot the Hyunmoo-2 missiles from an eastern site near the inter-Korean border just six minutes after the North’s missile firing from Pyongyang.

One “accurately hit” a simulated target in the East Sea about 250 kilometers away, a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) official told reporters in a background briefing.

It’s the same distance between the training area and the Sunan airfield in Pyongyang, where the missile was fired.

The other, however, fell into water “in the initial stage,” he added. Related authorities are analyzing the reason.

A defense ministry official pointed out the South’s response came while the North’s missile was still flying.

He stressed that the military was able to take such a quick measure as it detected signs of the secretive North preparing to fire the missile in advance. Related information was immediately reported to President Moon Jae-in who ordered the missile training.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

 

North Korea’s Latest Missile Launch Proves Their Capability To Target Guam

Here are the details about North Korea’s latest missile launch over Japan:

A file photo of North Korea’s Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which it test-launched on Aug. 29. [YONHAP]

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan, in the face of fresh sanctions against the isolated nation, according to the Japanese and South Korean governments. The missile was launched from the capital Pyongyang on Thursday just days after the U.S. announced additional sanctions against North Korea for carrying out a successful test of a hydrogen bomb capable of being fitted to an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Prior to that nuclear test, North Korea last month launched a missile over Japan in an act condemned by the United Nations at the time as “not just a threat to the region but all U.N. member states,” The New York Times reported.

According to a statement from the South Korean military Thursday, the missile is thought to have reached an altitude of 770km (478 miles) and travelled around 3,700km, with the Japanese government reporting the missile landed 1,240 miles east of Hokkaido. The chief cabinet secretary to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Yoshihide Suga, told The New York Times the country “absolutely cannot accept the repeated outrageous provocative actions by North Korea.”  [Newsweek]

You can read more at the link, but what is significant about this launch is that the North Koreans have confirmed that they can range Guam:

The intermediate-range missile fired from Pyongyang at 6:57 a.m. on Friday flew over the northern island of Hokkaido, reaching an altitude of 770 kilometers (478 miles) before landing in the Pacific Ocean. It traveled 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) — further than the 3,400 kilometers (2,100 miles) from Pyongyang to Guam, which North Korea has repeatedly threatened.
“The range of this test was significant since North Korea demonstrated that it could reach Guam with this missile, although the payload the missile was carrying is not known,” David Wright, a co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote in a blog post. [Bloomberg]

You can read more at the link.

North Korea’s UN Ambassador is Warning of More “Gift Packages” for the US

This statement from North Korea’s ambassador is said in way in which the Kim regime wants to blame the US for them conducting an ICBM test:

North Korea has warned it is ready to send “more gift packages” to the US if it continues to put pressure on the regime.

Han Tae Song, ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the UN in Geneva, was addressing the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament two days after his country detonated its sixth and largest nuclear test.

“I am proud of saying that just two days ago on the 3rd of September, DPRK succcessfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test for intercontinental ballistic rocket under its plan for building a strategic nuclear force,” Mr Han said.

He told the Geneva forum: “The recent self-defence measures by my country, DPRK, are a gift package addressed to none other than the US.

“The US will receive more gift packages from my country as long as it relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK,” he added.

It came after South Korean media citing an unidentified intelligence source said North Korea had been observed moving what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) towards its west coast.  [The Independent]

You can read more at the link.

North Korea Reportedly Readying an ICBM to Be Fired Over Japan

The next logical thing for the Kim regime to test would be an ICBM over Japan to complete this current provocation period:

North Korea may fire an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on a standard trajectory toward the North Pacific around its key anniversary following its sixth nuclear test, South Korea’s spy agency said Monday.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) told lawmakers in a closed session that Pyongyang may lob the missile around the anniversary of the regime’s foundation slated for Saturday or the establishment of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea on Oct. 10.

North Korea fired ballistic missiles, including two ICBMs fired in July, at a lofted angle to prevent them from crossing over other countries including Japan. But Pyongyang lobbed a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan last week.

“There is a possibility that the North would fire an ICBM on a standard trajectory,” the NIS was quoted as saying by lawmakers.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: Eyes Towards the Sky

Kim Jong-un observes missile firing

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observes the launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile in Pyongyang on Aug. 29, 2017, North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Aug. 30. The missile flew over Japan and landed in the northern Pacific Ocean. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korean Ambassador Claims Country Has Right to Self Defense After Missile Launch

Like I said before the North Koreans are using the ongoing UFG military exercise as cover for their missile test program:

In the wake of North Korea’s latest missile launch, an official said the country was justified to exercise its right to “self defense,” the Reuters news agency reports.

On Tuesday, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Han Tae Song, accused the U.S. of driving the Korean peninsula toward an “extreme level of explosion,” claiming the United States has “openly declared its hostile intentions” toward the country.

Han said in response to the U.S. and South Korea holding “aggressive” joint military exercises in the region, “despite repeated warnings,” his country has “every reason to respond with tough counter-measures.”  [CBS News]

You can read more at the link.

 

North Korea Signals that Missile Firings Over Japan May Be the New Normal

It looks like the Kim regime wants normalize firing missiles over Japan and use the joint US-ROK military exercises as excuses to do so:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watches test-firing of a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile at Sunan airport near Pyongyang, Tuesday, in this file photo released by the Korea Central News Agency, Wednesday. / Yonhap

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signaled more missile launches into the Pacific Ocean after a successful test of a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that flew over Japan, Tuesday, according to Pyongyang’s state media, Wednesday.

The Hwasong-12 flew about 2,700 kilometers over Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean. This was the first time that North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan.

“The missile firing, which closely resembled actual warfare, is the first step of our military operations in the Pacific and a significant prelude to check the U.S. territory of Guam,” the North’s Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Kim as saying.

“We need to carry out more ballistic missile tests toward the Pacific, so that we can develop strategic forces more practically.”

His comments showed the North could test-fire missiles toward not only areas around the Korean Peninsula but also those near Japan, Guam and other Pacific regions.

The KCNA said the country chose Aug. 29 for the missile launch to intimidate Japan on the occasion of the 107th anniversary of Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910.

“We carried out a bold operation, which flabbergasted the brutal Japanese islanders, on bloody Aug. 29, the day when the humiliating treaty of annexation was announced 107 year ago,” the KCNA said.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but it is clear the Kim regime feels there will be no repercussions from firing missiles over Japan and thus why this may become the new normal.  I guess we will see if the Kim regime is right about this assumption.