North Korea launched a huge new intercontinental ballistic missile called the Hwasong-17, capable of wreaking havoc as far as the United States or Britain
Image: via REUTERS)
North Korea’s most recent launch was a huge new ICBM capable of hitting targets in most areas of the world, including the United States.
Leader Kim Jong Un said it was designed to demonstrate the power of its nuclear power plant and deter any US military moves.
It was the first full ICBM test by nuclear-armed North Korea since 2017, and flight data showed the missile flew higher and longer than any of North Korea’s previous tests before crashing into the sea west of Japan.
The ICBM, named Hwasong-17, is the largest liquid-propelled missile ever launched by any country from a mobile launch vehicle system, according to analysts.
Kim ordered the test because of the “daily escalating military tensions in and around the Korean Peninsula” and the “inevitability of a longstanding confrontation with US imperialists, accompanied by the threat of nuclear war,” state news agency KCNA reported.
“The strategic forces of the DPRK (North Korea) are fully prepared to thoroughly contain and contain any dangerous military attempts by the US imperialists,” Kim said while personally overseeing the launch, according to KCNA.
The Hwasong-17 missile
Photos released by state media showed a massive missile, painted black with a white nose cone, rising atop a launch vehicle’s pillar of flame.
The Hwasong-17 flew 681 miles to a maximum altitude of 3,905 miles and accurately hit a target in the sea, KCNA reported. These figures are similar to data reported by Japan and South Korea.
North Korea first unveiled the previously unseen ICBM at an unprecedented predawn military parade in October 2020, with analysts noting that it appeared “considerably larger” than North Korea’s last new ICBM, the Hwasong-15, which was tested in November 2017.
It was displayed a second time at a defense exhibition in Pyongyang in October 2021.
Officials in Seoul and Washington have previously said launches on February 27 and March 5 affected parts of the Hwasong-17 ICBM system, likely in preparation for conducting a full test like Thursday’s.
Unlike all of North Korea’s previous ICBM tests, the Hwasong-17 was launched directly from a Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) vehicle, state media photos showed.
The Hwasong-17, shown on an 11-axis TEL, is the world’s largest road-mobile liquid-fuelled ICBM, according to analysts.
Its diameter is estimated to be 2.4 to 2.5 meters and its total mass when fully fueled is likely between 80,000 and 110,000 kg, according to 38 North, a US-based program that monitors North Korea.
The size of the Hwasong-17 has led analysts to speculate that it will be designed to carry multiple warheads and decoys to better penetrate missile defenses.
Some observers said the satellite technology North Korea is said to have tested in the February 27 and March 5 launches could also be used for a multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle (MIRV) system, potentially allowing a single missile to drop nuclear warheads on it different goals.
How will the West react?
North Korea’s return to major weapons tests that could potentially hit the United States poses a direct challenge to US President Joe Biden as he responds to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
And it raises the prospect of a new crisis following the election of a new, conservative South Korean government that has promised a tougher military strategy against Pyongyang.
South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who is set to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping later on Friday, said North Korea had nothing to gain from a provocation. China is North Korea’s only major ally and neighbor.
The launch was condemned by political leaders in the United States, Japan and South Korea.
Kim said the test would help convince the world of the modern characteristics of the country’s strategic armed forces.
“All armed forces should be aware of the fact that they must pay a very high price before they dare to violate the security of our country,” he said, according to KCNA.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/north-korea-test-fired-monster-26552384 North Korea tests 'monster missiles' that can hit US and rain death on millions - World News