"Last year in testimony to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, created by Congress, he reported that Beijing felt increasingly encircled. It sees Washington’s hypersonic glider as a way to attack China without crossing the nuclear threshold, complicating its assessment of nuclear retaliation."
"Within the Pentagon, this high-tech approach is known by the dull phrase “third offset strategy,” emulating two earlier “offsets” that checked Russian military advances during the Cold War. The first offset was tactical nuclear weapons; the second was precision-guided conventional weapons. The latest version assumes that smart, robot weapons can help restore deterrence that has been eroded by Russian and Chinese progress."
"The missile, which had a reported range of more than 500 kilometers (300 miles), was fired from a southern launch pad, said an official at Seoul's Defense Ministry who spoke on condition of anonymity because of office rules."
"The 2012 U.S. deal allows South Korea to possess ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800 kilometers (500 miles). A previous 2001 accord with Washington had barred South Korea from deploying ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) because of concerns about a regional arms race."
"The missile appearing the still photographs released by KCNA is named “Bukgeungsong-1,” as indicated by the Korean characters on the airframe. Ironically, the name translates to “Polar Star” or “Polaris,” the latter parroting the name of the US Navy’s first-generation SLBM, initially deployed in the early-1960s. The Bukgeungsong-1 has a diameter-to-length ratio similar to that of the Soviet R-27 (4K10; SS-N-6), a sea-launched ballistic missile first deployed during the 1960s. The R-27 has a maximum range of about 2400 kilometers when delivering a 650-kilogram warhead."
"Firstly, the missile was ejected from the launch tube at a slight angle, not vertically. This was likely done to mimic the launch angle required when firing operational missiles that contain a full-propellant load. Indeed, the US and others launch SLBMs at an angle to ensure that if the missile’s main engine fails to ignite, the weapon loaded with volatile propellant does not fall back onto the submarine and explode. North Korea appears to have incorporated the safety protocol"
"Secondly, the missile’s liquid-propellant engine successfully ignited, demonstrating that the sequence and timing of events was nominally correct."
"employing a mock-up rather than a complete missile suggests that the test objectives were limited to evaluating the mechanism responsible for ejecting the missile from an underwater-launch tube, safely activating the missile’s propulsion system and stabilizing the missile as it accelerates upward."
An archive of news and resources on East Asian security. Rather than adhering to a particular political agenda, this archive aims to bring together diverse and insightful resources found while conducting research.