“North Korea appears to have completed the development of a Japan-targeted nuclear missile,” the paper reported the national security source saying.
The test-fired missile reportedly travelled at 15 times the speed of sound. Japanese and US military officials said the missile flew around 800km and reached an altitude of 2,000km before it dropped into the sea.Sponsored Ads
North Korea may be close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile, state media suggested Saturday.
North Korea is believed to have figured out how to mount a miniaturized nuclear bomb on a ballistic missile, the re-entry vehicle is suspected to have survived the IRBM test, and the North’s engine technology has improved. North Korea is likely still several years away from a reliable ICBM, but it is checking off a number of key boxes in the research and development process.
The Diplomat speculates that China is scared of the THAAD’s powerful AN/TPY-2 radar, which has two modes. The first, for THAAD’s announced purpose, can see about 370 miles into North Korea and track and knock down any incoming missile launches.
In another configuration, THAAD becomes a node for a larger ballistic-missile defense system, such as the ground-based midcourse defense that the US recently used to shoot down a mock intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific.
Estimates of the range of this forward-basing mode of THAAD vary from a few hundred miles to almost 2,000 miles, meaning any missile launched from mainland China to the US would most likely be spotted very quickly.
“This destroys the strategic balance in the world,” Reuters quoted Putin as saying in remarks at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Added the Russian leader: “What is happening is a very serious and alarming process. In Alaska, and now in South Korea, elements of the anti-missile defense system are emerging. Should we just stand idly by and watch this? Of course not. We are thinking about how to respond to these challenges. This is a challenge for us.”
At the same time, China’s semiofficial Global Times said this week that the interceptor test is proof the U.S. may be preparing for military action against North Korea and also that the technology “breaks strategic balance among nuke-armed countries.”
The Defence Intelligence Agency chief has said it is “inevitable” that a nuclear weapon launched from North Korea would hit the US mainland.
Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the possibility of an attack was very real after a recent nuclear missile test conducted by Pyongyang.
He warned that if the isolated country and its leader Kim Jong-un are left on the “current trajectory the regime will ultimately succeed.”
The powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has established a third underground ballistic missile production facility in southwestern Iran, the semi-official Fars News agency reported Thursday.
Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC’s airspace program, told the Iranian outlet that the country would continue its ballistic missile program despite international criticism.
The facility was under construction for years, Hajizadeh told Fars.
As North Korea fires more missiles in its drive to build and test rockets to reach the US mainland, one issue largely overlooked is that satellites are among methods used to guide such weapons to their targets.
Pyongyang doesn’t have a satellite navigation network, raising speculation that if it is using such a guidance system then is it tapping into China’s?
While information on military programs in the North is difficult to verify, reports going back to 2014 show that North Korean engineers were in China for technology training on how the country’s satellite navigation system — known as Beidou or Compass — worked.
The West has been frustrated since 2012 over Russia’s decision to violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by testing a new ground-launched cruise missile. The treaty, which eliminated nearly 2,700 missiles on both sides, prohibits production or flight test of any such missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. According to public reports, the Russians now have gone beyond testing and deployed the missile, further violating the treaty.
It is now time to stop scolding and up the ante. There is no reason for Russia to deploy these missiles. The Russians face no serious threat from west, east, or south—no nation on the planet wants to attack Russia. While diplomacy should not be abandoned, it will have to be backed by the only type of power Russia really understands: principled strength. In fact, the treaty itself originated from the use of such power: President Ronald Reagan deployed nuclear-tipped ground-launched cruise missiles and Pershing II ballistic missiles to Europe in response to a previous Russian deployment. This U.S. deployment laid the groundwork for successful negotiation of the INF Treaty.
An especially elegant use of such power would avoid a tit-for-tat violation of or, worse, a withdrawal from the treaty. Rather, Russia should feel the pinch from a capability that lies well within international agreements (and a capability Russia itself possesses): a sea-based nuclear-armed cruise missile. This would require restoration of the Navy’s nuclear capability on Tomahawk cruise missiles in what was known as TLAM-Ns—Tomahawk land-attack missile-nuclear.
If you knew there were going to be a nuclear war with Russia in one year, what should the military do? More nuclear weapons would be nice. Not to make the rubble bounce, but rather to allow more strikes over several years. That way anybody surviving in a fallout shelter will eventually die when they come out.
Japan wants an unknown number of Tomahawks. The missiles themselves will likely be deployed among Japan’s fleet of Aegis destroyers. Each destroyer has 90 Mk. 41 vertical launch silos, and each silo can accommodate one Tomahawk.
The purchase of offensive cruise missiles would be a first for Japan and a major change in the country’s security policy. Having forsaken war as an instrument of national policy, Japan maintains so-called “Self Defense Forces” that are defensive only. Offensive weapons such as aircraft carriers, marines, and cruise missiles have been prohibited as a matter of policy.
The report cites Chinese components and European parts acquired through China that were recovered from the debris of a North Korean missile launch. They included what the report described as an electromagnetic interference filter for a camera, pressure transmitters, and ball bearings traced to Russia.
In another case, the UN found that North Korea set up a front company in Malaysia called Glocom that was used to produce military communications gear.
“Suppliers were mostly located in China (in particular in Hong Kong) and many of them were selling widely available electronic products,” the report said. North Korea “procured relatively inexpensive components for the purpose of assembling and selling very expensive tactical military radio communications materiel.”