North Korea’s New Missile Is a Game-Changer

DefenseOne.com reports: “The Hwasong-15 ICBM tested by North Korea on Nov. 28 is a monster. Many compare it to the Titan II, deployed by the United States to carry our largest, multi-megaton hydrogen bombs to targets halfway around the globe. Missile expert Mike Elleman at the International Institute for Strategic Studies calls it ‘a significant improvement in North Korea’s ability to target the US.’ Even applying conservative assumptions about the missile’s engines, ‘it now appears that the Hwasong-15 can deliver a 1,000-kg payload to any point on the US mainland,’ he writes at 38 North. ‘North Korea has almost certainly developed a nuclear warhead that weighs less than 700 kg, if not one considerably lighter.’…

It’s the front end of the missile that changes everything. These video and photos, released after Rapp-Hopper published, show North Korean leader Kim Jung-un standing next to the huge, new transporter-erecter vehicle that is carrying the missile, prominently featuring its large, blunt nose cone. Even a casual observer can see that the missile could carry many Kim-sized objects within the nose cone. Nuclear warheads are typically the size of an average person or smaller. The hydrogen bomb ‘peanut-design’ displayed by North Korea before their last nuclear test is at least that small…”

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