The KN-08, a mobile Missile system that provides North Korea and its leadership the required long distance ‘Punch’, in terms of political as well as military strategy is analyzed here.
North Korea tested an engine for its new long-range missiles one day before its third nuclear test last week, government sources here said Sunday.
Pyongyang carried out a function test of the engine for its long-range “KN-08? missiles on the Dongchang-ri launch site in North Pyongan Province on Monday, according to multiple government sources.
It was one day before the communist country defied international warnings by detonating what it calls a miniaturized atomic device, drawing a chorus of worldwide condemnations and prompting the United Nations Security Council to start work on “appropriate measures” against the North’s latest provocation. The North also conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
“It appears that North Korea conducted the engine test aimed at extending the range of the KN-08 missile to over 5,000 kilometers,” said a source. He declined to be identified.
“If the North decides the test successful, it is expected to operationally deploy the new long-range rocket,” he added.
North Korea unveiled six units of the mobile missile last April to celebrate the 100th birthday of Kim Il-sung, its founding father and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un. Experts assumed that the missile measuring 2 meters in diameter and 18 meters in length could carry a nuclear warhead, while the North has yet to conduct a test-firing.
So why is the KN-08 significant? It is because it gives the North Koreans a way to launch an ICBM with little to no notice compared to the Taepodong-2 that was recently flight tested that requires stacking. Stacking of the Taepodong-2 gives countries plenty of forewarning of a launch, a KN-08 allows them to pull it out of a concealed location and launch with little notice.
The big question is whether or not any of this technology works? The North Koreans just had their first successful Taepodong-2 test after many failures. Launching a road mobile ICBM is a much difficult technology to master. Additionally miniaturizing a nuclear weapons is also very difficult, than combine that with putting it in a warhead that can penetrate US missile defenses is even much more complex.
Analysts have already been saying that these KN-08s are fakes, but the North Koreans in order to increase the threat they pose to the US sure do want everyone to think they and their miniaturization of nuclear weapons are real.