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North Korea confirms successful launch of SLBM missile

Posted October. 04, 2019 07:28,   

Updated October. 04, 2019 07:28


North Korea revealed Thursday that the missile it launched a day before was a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), adding that the launch of the North Korean “Polaris-3” was successful. Based on the analysis of the photo disclosed by the North, experts say that the Polaris-3 has been enhanced in magnitude with a fuselage bigger than the previous Polaris-1 SLBM.

“The technological indicators of the core tactics of the newly designed ballistic missiles have been scientifically verified,” the Korean Central News Agency announced Thursday, calling the successful launch a crucial achievement to yield a breakthrough in containing threats from external forces and strengthening the self-defensive military capacity of the regime. It has been reported that the South Korean military authorities have not expressed any concern throughout the entire process of test-firing.

Considering the size of the missile, the military authorities are putting its maximum range at round 2,000 kilometers, which is much longer than 1,300 kilometers, the range of the Polaris-1. Others say that the range of the Polaris-3 could hover around 5, 000 kilometers, which will be enough to strike the strategic strongpoints of American forces, including its military base on Guam. The experts also proposed the possibility that the Polaris-3 could be mounted with multiple warheads unlike the Polaris-1 type, which has only one warhead. For their scattering nature, multiple warhead missiles are much more difficult to intercept and highly destructive.

In an email interview with the Dong-A Ilbo on Wednesday, Bruce Bennett, the senior researcher at Rand Corporation, said that the capacity of North Korean SLBMs has significantly increased, compared to the test-launching of the Polaris-1 missile in 2016.

Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader who has showed up for the North’s previous short-range missile provocations that went on over 10 times this year, did not visit the launching site this time. It appears to be a message that he won’t risk blowing the chance to talk before the working-level talks with Washington slated for Saturday.

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com · Na-Ri Shin journari@donga.com