The Hwasong-15 tested on Wednesday, Nov. 29, likely carried a dummy warhead equivalent in weight to a nuclear bomb, say US missile experts.
What this means is that North Korea had not just attained world-power ability to build an intercontinental ballistic missile, but had also most likely mastered the technology of trajectory re-entry to any point on earth it wished to target. Experts examining the photos released by Pyongyang Thursday found the just-launched missile to be much broader and bigger than the earlier Hwasong-14 model. It has multi-stage rockets, each containing its own engine and propellant for greater thrust and range.
The experts were most impressed by what appeared to be “gimbaled engines” – meaning that the exhaust nozzles of the engines can be used for navigation while holding the missile in stable trajectory. These capabilities plus the ability to launch missiles by night from mobile launchers has put North Korea in the exclusive club of world powers in this field.
America’s UN ambassador Nikki Haley Wednesday night warned against “further acts of aggression like the latest launch,” adding, “Make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”
No rhetoric can obscure North Korea’s breakthrough or Kim Jong-un’s success in blindsiding the intelligence services of the United States, Japan and South Korea. None of their surveillance agencies had caught on to the Pyongyang’s newfound capabilities and were caught napping by the timing of the Hwasong-15 launch. Some hard thinking is called for by American policy-makers and strategists on US intelligence capabilities following this eye-opener. It would also be interesting to find out if Chinese and Russian intelligence agencies had done better.
But, meanwhile, the time is long past for appeals, like the one President Donald Trump addressed once again to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping to use “all available levers” to convince Kim Jong un to give up his “provocations.” Such appeals only serve to highlight American ineffectiveness in the face of those provocations and encourage rogue regimes like that of Iran to take advantage and follow suit. The Trump administration must come up fast with a way of dealing with Pyongyang – somewhere between smashing the Kim regime and the policy of swinging between sanctions and diplomacy, whose inefficacy was devastatingly proven now after 25 years of failure.
North Korea alarmed the international community on Tuesday when, after a two-month lull, it fired a Hwasong-15 ICBM into the waters west of Japan. State media touted the launch as its most powerful missile yet. Judging by the missile’s peak height reached during its flight, experts say the North now has the capacity to strike nearly any location in the Continental US. Now, the North's state media released dozens of photos and a video after Wednesday’s launch of the new Hwasong-15 missile, which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared had “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force”. The photos show Kim Jong-un personally overseeing the launch of the missile, an obvious source of national pride.
Pyongyang claimed the Hwasong-15 reached an altitude of around 4,475 kilometers and flew 950 kilometers during its flight, which lasted 53 minutes.
Kim Jong-un was shown in delight as the newly developed intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15's test was successfully launched, in these photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang November 30, 2017.
Pyongyang announced in a statement read on North Korean state TV that the missile was a Hwasong-15. “Tipped with super-large heavy warhead,” the missile is “capable of striking the whole mainland of the US.”.
“After watching the successful launch of the new type ICBM Hwasong-15, Kim 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,” it added.
The aim of the missile is solely “to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country from the US imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat,” according to Pyongyang.
If the missile was indeed a Hwasong-15, it would mean a new development for North Korea. The other launches that took place in 2017 were either claimed to be the older Hwasong-14 ICBM, or the intermediate range (IRBM) Hwasong-12.
Russia condemned Wednesday’s launch of the Hwasong-15, calling it “a provocative act that triggers further escalation and moves us further away from crisis settlement,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. “We do condemn the launch and hope all the parties will exercise restraint which is so much needed to prevent the situation in the Korean peninsula from going the worst way.”
One US intelligence official said the Hwasong-15 appears to have a more powerful North Korean solid-fuel propulsion system, especially in its second-stage rocket. A solid-fuel system for an ICBM would be a significant development and could allow the North Koreans to transport and launch a missile more quickly, compared to a liquid-fuel system that requires lengthy preparation. The photos appeared to show the missile with at least two large nozzles on its first stage, instead of the one large and several smaller nozzles on the Hwasong-14.
The Untied Nations Security Council met for an emergency session on Wednesday following the North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile launch (ICBM) on Tuesday.
North Korea launched a new Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that it claims was the “most powerful” to date. Experts and officials have since said the latest launch shows that North Korean missiles could reach anywhere in the world.
“We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it,” she said. “[But] if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”
Haley said the missile launch brings the United States “closer” to a war it doesn’t want, The Associated Press reported.
Haley also called on China to cut off trade with North Korea, disrupting its shipments of crude oil to the country.
President Donald Trump called Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, Haley told the Security Council, revealing that he asked China to cut off the crude oil supply to North Korea.
“We now turn to President Xi to also take that stand. We believe he has an opportunity to do the right thing for the benefit of all countries. China must show leadership and follow through. China can do this on its own, or we can take the oil situation into our own hands,” Haley said, NBC reported.
The apocalypse begins in darkness with the rumble of huge lorries emerging from remote hangars and mountain tunnels at secret locations across North Korea.
Time and stealth are of the essence if their deadly cargo of intercontinental ballistic missiles aren't to be spotted by circling U.S. satellites, which could prompt their destruction by cruise missiles fired from ships and submarines around the Korean Peninsula.
The Pyongyang regime, which has often staged launches around midnight, knows that its enemies' best chance of destroying its long-range missiles is while they're still on the ground.
The task of launching a hydrogen bomb at America has fallen to Kim Jong-un's fleet of Chinese-made 'transporter erector launchers'.
These giant vehicles, so often seen during military parades, can unleash North Korea's latest Hwasong-15 'Mars' missiles in as little as 20 minutes
The missile has shocked Western experts with its sophistication. At a flatter trajectory, it could hit anywhere in the U.S., although a nuclear warhead (which the test missile was not carrying) would add considerable weight and limit how far it could travel. A target on America's West Coast, however, would be easily within range.
If the attackers are lucky, the West's battery of imaging satellites and radar scanners — based on land, sea and in space, and continually watching the 'Hermit Kingdom' — will only notice when the rocket fuel ignites and gives off a heat signature betraying its position.
Airborne missiles are a far harder target to bring down.
Russia says it opposes a U.S. push for further isolation of North Korea after its recent missile test.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday that the possibilities of pressuring North Korea with more sanctions have been exhausted. He deplored the U.S. refusal to engage in talks with North Korea and noted that a series of military drills by the U.S. and its allies in the region fueled tensions.
Lavrov referred to comments by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who warned that the North Korean missile test “brings us closer” to a war the U.S. isn’t seeking.
He said “the Americans need to explain to us all what they want: If they want to find a pretext for destroying North Korea ... they should say it openly.”
Russia has condemned North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests and urged the U.S. and its allies to freeze their military drills and engage in talks with the North to help end the standoff.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador is strongly urging North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile tests and calling on the U.S. and South Korea to cancel large-scale military maneuvers scheduled for December, warning that these drills “will only inflame an already explosive situation.”
Vassily Nebenzia told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that Russia is “deeply disappointed” at North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile launch Tuesday, stressing that Moscow doesn’t support Pyongyang “becoming a nuclear power.”
He says Russia is strongly calling on all parties to stop the “spiral of tension.”
Nebenzia says Russia believes the only way to resolve the situation is through “tireless and diplomatic efforts” to find “a long-term and mutually acceptable solution.”
Moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would threaten the prospects for peace, the Jordanian king told US decision-makers on Wednesday.
Emphasizing that there is no alternative to the two-state solution, King Abdullah II said in Washington that it was important no measures be taken to undermine US efforts to kickstart peace talks, the Jordan Timesreported.
The king, visiting Capitol Hill to discuss US-Jordanian strategic, military and economic cooperation, said that moving the embassy could only come as part of a comprehensive deal for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Taking that step now could prompt terrorists to whip up anger, frustration and desperation in order to spread their ideologies, he warned.
Billionaires, both liberal and conservative ones, own, and their corporations advertise in and their ‘charities’ donate to, America’s mainstream (and also many ‘alternative news’) media. They do this not so as to profit directly from the national ‘news’media (a money-losing business, in itself), but so as to control the ’news’ that the voting public (right and left) are exposed to and thus will accept as being “mainstream” and will reject all else as being “fringe” or even ‘fake news’, even if what’s actually fake is, in fact, the billionaires' own mainstream ’news’, such as their ’news'media had most famously ‘reported’ about ’Saddam’s WMD’ (but the’news’media never changed after that scandal — even after having pumped uncritically that blatant lie to the public).
Two typical examples of this coordinated mass-deception-operation happened to be showing at the top of the magazine-pile at an office recently and struck my attention there, because of the ordinariness of the propaganda that was being pumped. One of them was the cover of TIME magazine, dated “July 24, 2017” and with the cover headlined “RED HANDED: The Russia Scandal Hits Home”, overprinting onto the face of Donald Trump Jr., as their menacing-looking cover-image. That cover-story, as published inside, was titled “How Donald Trump Jr.'s Emails Have Cranked Up the Heat on His Family”, and it used such phrases as “potentially treasonous” and “Russia is the one country that could physically destroy America” (as if it weren’t also the case that US is the one country that could physically destroy Russia, and very much the case also that possession of the weaponry isn’t any indication of being evil, such as this particular propagandist was implicitly assuming). Hillary Clinton’s V.P. running-mate was reported to be “saying that these fresh revelations move the Russia investigation into the realms of 'perjury, false statements and even, potentially, treason.'”
These mere speculations, with slimy inferences of evil, with no real facts that back them up, were the front-cover ‘news’, in TIME. The facts were thin, but the speculations were thick, and the only thing really clear from it was that almost all of America’s billionaires and centi-millionaires want Trump ousted, and want Vice President Mike Pence to become America’s President as soon as possible — before Trump’s term is up. Democratic ones certainly do, and many of the Republican ones apparently do as well. Perhaps Trump isn’t hostile enough toward Russia to suit their fancy. At least Pence would be predictable — predictably horrible, in precisely the way that the controllers of the ‘news’media overwhelmingly desire.
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