North Korea's new submarine-launched missile design copied from three other countries

Express

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03 жовтня 2019 20:18

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North Korea launched a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile successfully this week, just days before stalled nuclear talks were expected to restart. The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the SLBM Pukguksong-3 was launched from waters off Wonsan Bay on the country’s east coast. But, one analyst has warned the successful missile test shows striking similarities to the development of weaponry by the United States, China and France.

Writing on 38 North, Michael Elleman, a Senior Fellow for Missile Defence at the International Institute of Strategic Studies wrote: “The Pukguksong-3’s size and configuration is consistent with other SLBM designs.“The US Polaris SLBM had a diameter of 1.37 meters, early-French SLBMs were 1.5 meters in diameter and China’s JL-1 was 1.4 meters.“The first stage motor of the Pukguksong-3 is roughly two times the size of the second stage motor. This ratio is similar to those found on the US, French and Chinese SLBMs.“These similarities are driven by engineering optimisation, and not by one country copying another’s design decisions.”

Mr Elleman added the Pukguksong-3 “represents another step forward in North Korea’s pursuit of a sea-based deterrent force”.The analyst also hinted “additional flight tests are likely” before the state “eventual launch from a prototype submarine”.North Korea released images of the launch shortly after the ballistic missile test.READ MORE: North Korea sparks major conflict fears after its missile lands

Analysts have claimed the launch on Wednesday was the most provocative by North Korea since it resumed dialogue with the United States in 2018.KCNA said: “The successful new-type SLBM test-firing comes to be of great significance as it ushered in a new phase in containing the outside forces’ threat to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and further bolstering its military muscle for self-defence.”It said the test “had no adverse impact on the security of neighbouring countries”.The state propaganda outlet added North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “sent warm congratulations” to those who had carried out the successful test-firing, suggesting he was not present for the launch.DON'T MISS: North Korea threat: Kim Jong-un could deploy nuclear submarine [INSIGHT]Putin furious as three Russians wounded in attack by North Korean ship [LATEST]North Korea 'poised to expand nuclear operation' after Bolton exit [UPDATE]

But, the missile launch is believed to have angered Japan, after they claimed the missile appears to have landed in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).Japan added there were no reports so far of any impact on aircraft or ships in the region.Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said one missile fell at 7.27am yesterday while another landed outside of Japan's EEZ a few minutes earlier.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe condemned the launch, saying it was a violation of UN security council resolutions.The European Union has condemned the launch as “yet another provocative action" and called for fresh talks between Washington and Pyongyang.An EU spokesman said: "We look forward to the resumption of working-level talks between the US and the DPRK and stand ready to support all international efforts for finding a diplomatic solution leading to lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.”

South Korean authorities believe the missile travelled about 280 miles in an easterly direction, and Seoul expressed its “strong concern”.The launch was the ninth since Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met at the heavily guarded demilitarised zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas in June, and came soon after Pyongyang announced it would hold working-level talks with the US on Saturday.A U.S. State Department spokeswoman called on Pyongyang to "refrain from provocations" and to remain committed to nuclear negotiations.

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