NORTH KOREA’S LATEST MISSILE TEST WAS EVEN SCARIER THAN IT SEEMED
WHEN NORTH KOREA tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday, analysts quickly determined that the weapon would be able to reach any target in the continental United States. Further photo and video analysis since, though, indicate that the missile test represents an even greater advance in capabilities than analysts first thought. And as the international community grapples with the geopolitical implications, more North Korean missile sophistication means more tough questions for the country’s enemies.
Many analysts originally assumed that North Korea this week launched an improved version of a Hwasong-14 missile, the ICBM the country successfully tested twice in July. But North Korean photos and video show that while the rocket tested on Tuesday is a two-stage, liquid-fueled missile that has some similar features to the Hwasong-14, the latest effort is significantly larger, and has a first stage powered by two engines instead of one. The second stage also seems to have more propellant than the Hwasong-14.
A bigger and more powerful rocket can carry a heavier load farther, so analysts note that the new missile, dubbed the Hwasong-15, can likely carry a North Korean warhead as far as Kim Jong-un could want—including anywhere in the continental US. read more…