Dear Members and Friends,
Yesterday, North Korea launched the Pukguksong-2/Polaris-2 – refined from its earlier launch of February 12 (link) – using a cold launch and solid fuel from a mobile platform, based off of a Chinese submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) the JL-1, off of North Korea’s own self-made and produced Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL). This particular test was not about distance nor range of the missile’s capability to be demonstrated by North Korea, it was redundant within the framework and profile of reliability in validating this missile and system for initial operation capability for North Korea’s strategic rocket force. There were applications on this test not required for testing and development to include the forward manifold ejection that would only be done for final operational capability validation. This solid fueled mobile missile, along with the North Korean home produced TEL, which for all indication is being put in mass production and unavailable to track, makes this capability a challenge to detect and preemptively take out, thereby giving North Korea an assured second strike capability against the United States, Japan and Korea.
Click here to watch video footage and analysis of the recent North Korean missile test.
Much more concerning is North Korea’s follow on validation of payload reentry vehicle of a nuclear warhead from this test that can be lifted and delivered with reliability, as proved out from last week’s North Korean test (link) and again yesterday.
In the competition within the North Korea strategic forces between liquid fuel and solid fuel, missile testing has now become a weekly exercise that makes a much more dangerous North Korea, who is now enabling initial operations of a new deployed capability that can challenge left of launch capability by the United States and its allies from these tests.
The U.S. THAAD deployed in Korea is earning its value in tracking and producing high quality discrimination firing solutions through real-time analysis of all North Korean tests since it has been deployed. This is invaluable information. More missile defense capacity and capability needs to be placed in the region by all three allies as to counter and negate IOC of these new upcoming and ongoing North Korean ballistic missiles that continue to be tested and made operational.