N. KOREA BOASTS OF THREATENING ICBM
North Korean state-run media last week warned that Pyongyang has developed a new and more effective variant of the KN-08 mobile strategic missile.
A Pyongyang-controlled website reported Oct. 30 that the new version of the KN-08 displayed during a recent military parade is capable of conducting deep penetrating nuclear strikes, and can avoid U.S. missile defenses.
The article, headlined “The Might of the North’s New-Type Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Hwasong-14,” stated that details of the missile were reported by a South Korean web site that was not identified.
The North Korean article states that strategic missiles are difficult to intercept in the atmosphere but are vulnerable to strikes during their flight through space.
Additionally, the new missile is said to fly at extremely high speeds, making it very difficult to track with radar and other sensors.
“A high stratosphere re-entry speed makes the warhead’s ability to penetrate underground so much stronger,” the report stated. “In other words, the United States’ underground nuclear missile bases, underground evacuation facilities and underground command posts may be defenseless against the North’s intercontinental ballistic missile.”
“The best way to destroy underground facilities is to have nuclear bombs capable of penetrating deep underground by any means,” the report said. “The Hwasong-14 has the optimum shape that gives it the might powerful enough to penetrate deep underground and finish it all.”
The North Koreans are urging the United States to conclude a peace agreement and that “foot-dragging” in improving relations between Washington and Pyongyang “will make the North stronger and push the United States and its following forces deeper into a crisis.”
The article appeared on Uriminzokkiri.com, a Shenyang, China-based web site targeting overseas audiences that is controlled by North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea United Front Department.
Adm. William Gortney, commander of the U.S. Northern Command in charge of defending against long-range North Korean missile attacks, said he believes Pyongyang is capable of striking the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.
“I agree with the intel community that we assess that they have the ability, they have the weapons, and they have the ability to miniaturize those weapons, and they have the ability to put them on a rocket that can [reach] the homelands,” Adm. Gortney said in a speech Oct. 7.
Contact Bill Gertz on Twitter at @BillGertz.