The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitic­s -

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.

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