November 30, 2017

North Korea’s New Missile Is Bigger and More Powerful, Photos Suggest

Choe Sang-Hun | New York Times
The intercontinental ballistic missile North Korea launched this week was a new type of missile bigger and more powerful than any the country had tested before, South Korean officials said on Thursday. Photos from the North’s official Korean Central News Agency are providing valuable clues about the capabilities of the missile, named the Hwasong-15. North Korea said it carried a “super-large heavy warhead which is capable of striking the whole mainland of the U.S.”

U.S. Calls on All Nations to Completely Sever Ties With North Korea

Carol Morello and Simon Denyer | Washington Post
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday urged all countries to sever economic and diplomatic ties with North Korea, and warned Pyongyang that the regime will be “utterly destroyed” if a standoff over missile tests leads to war. Speaking at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss North Korea’s latest missile launch, Haley said Pyongyang had brought the world closer to war with its latest test of a ballistic missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland, its most advanced yet.

Senate Panel Would Boost Pentagon's Eleveth-Hour Gambit to Accelerate RKV Development

Jason Sherman | Inside Defense
The Senate Appropriations Committee has endorsed a Pentagon plan to accelerate development of the new Ground-based Midcourse Defense warhead—which aims to improve defenses against a potential North Korean or Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile—lifting proposed spending even beyond the Trump administration's requested increase. Earlier this month, the Pentagon—which in May requested $465 million in FY-18 for Improved Homeland Defense Interceptors—sent Congress a revised request, seeking $619 million for the same inceptors, including funds to accelerate Redesigned Kill Vehicle development as part of an effort to "defeat developing threats in terms of number of threat missiles and complexity of threat payloads."

The North Korea Standoff Will Get Worse: Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump Are Trapped in a Vicious Cycle

Joshua Pollack | New York Daily News
In the dark of night Wednesday, North Korea launched its latest mobile missile, a humongous intercontinental-range weapon capable of reaching any part of the 50 United States. The flight of the new Hwasong-15 ICBM comes less than three months after North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test. According to an official statement, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power.”

North Korea Says It Has 'Completed' Its Nuclear Program

Uri Friedman | Atlantic
On Wednesday, after conducting its longest-range missile test yet, North Korea declared itself a globe-spanning nuclear-weapons power and insisted the United States deal with it on those terms. Kim Jong Un’s government claimed that it had launched a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)—a “Hwasong-15”—capable of “carrying [a] super-heavy [nuclear] warhead and hitting the whole mainland of the U.S.” It quoted the Dear Leader, who announced that his nation had “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force.”

Maximum Pressure on North Korea

Wall Street Journal
Kim Jong Un tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile in the early hours of Wednesday, and the data suggest it could hit all of the continental United States. If North Korea is allowed to perfect its warhead technology, it will be able to hold the U.S. hostage to nuclear ransom. The Trump Administration is right that the U.S. can't live with this threat, so what more should it do to prevent it?