Over this past weekend, on Saturday, the 10th of October 2020, on the 75th anniversary of the DPRK Workers’ Party, in dramatic fashion from the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, North Korea rolled out their new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, considered the largest road-mobile ICBM ever built. It is a new North Korean ICBM that would be coupled with nuclear weapons that looks good in a parade, but not demonstrated nor proven reliable to have the range of the entire United States of America.
This comes at a fortuitous time for setting a tear-jerking North Korean narrative of a growing nuclear power with intent and capability to strike America, in order to preserve its nuclear status, that has to be dealt with by the United States and its upcoming presidential election. The display of the biggest road-mobile ICBM in the parade by North Korea signifies a deliberate move away from a détente with President Trump. It also comes at a critical time for the United States Congress 2020 NDAA, where resources are being allocated to best defend the United States from North Korea nuclear ICBMs.
North Korea’s unabated continued development of ICBMs to strike the United States, proven by North Korea standards of ample ground testing and collected data of their regional lofted trajectories in testing, coupled with Iranian support and Chinese parts, provides them with a capability of which reliability is unknown. North Korea, without space or airborne data-collection sensors, a long-distance test range, or a deep-water Navy to retrieve the remains of an ICBM test, will always be challenged on Western ways of validation through testing and development of ICBMs. North Korea’s relationships with Iran and China are key for the sharing of valuable ballistic-missile testing data. North Korea is resolute in remaining a nuclear power and has adapted to doing what it technically can do in data collection, testing, and proving of its new ICBM capabilities — and is relentless in continuing to develop new, and produce more, ICBMs to strike the United States.
Today, the United States has 40 proven ground-based interceptors in Alaska and 4 in California, and a complete cross-domain sensing architecture with a Command and Control Battle Management Command (C2BMC). The reliability and readiness of the Ground-Based Missile Defense Systems were proven in a successful dual-salvo intercept test representing a North Korean ICBM. The GMD system is expanding over the next 8-10 years to increase its capacity by new generational interceptors with multiple kill vehicles that are being developed. There are 20 new empty silos in Fort Greely, Alaska, and Senator Sullivan of Alaska, in this year’s NDAA, has authored a provision to develop an interim solution to the GBI to fill those silos in Fort Greely. Alaska is requiring the deployment of this interim solution by 2026, while the NGI is developing.
It should also be noted that displayed in the North Korean military parade were the Kn-23 and Kn-24 short-range ballistic missiles, new Transporter Erector Launchers, plus liquid-fueled Hwasong-12 and Hwasong-15 intermediate-range ballistic missiles capable of holding our forward-operating forces and allies in the Indo-Pacific region at risk. Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. homeland of Guam will have to increase their missile defense capabilities. There are new U.S. developments in Korea, with the JEON phase-three THAAD-Patriot integration, successfully tested on the 1st of October 2020, and in Guam, with the Indo-Pacific Defense Initiative as the power projection nexus for deterrence in the region.
When it rains on your parade, look up.