North Korea reveals details of future nuclear plans

North Korea reveals details of future nuclear plans
August 24 18:51 2017

North Korea appears to have revealed details of two as-yet untested missile systems in its press coverage of a factory inspection by the country’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

According to the BBC, photographs released by KCNA state news agency to go with a report on Mr Kim’s visit to a facility at the Academy of Defence Sciences facility show wall charts describing the missiles, called Hwasong-13 and Pukguksong-3.

Hwasong-13 appears to be a three-stage ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile), while the chart showing Pukguksong-3, although largely obscured by officials, is an Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM).
It’s not the first time that North Korea has “accidentally” left details of important developments in the background of photo-shoots, and this is seen by analysts as a means of showing off its military power or sending messages to its foes.

North Korea’s report of the visit appears to be deliberately timed, coming on the third day of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises involving South Korea and the United States, to which Pyongyang is vehemently opposed.

The timing and the content is critical. Speaking to South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, Shin Jong-woo of the Korea Defence and Security Forum said that North Korea “has a history of displaying actual weapons, or graphic designs of them, via state media in order to flaunt its military prowess to the world.”

According to KCNA, Kim Jong-un is said to have ordered scientists at the facility to produce more solid rocket fuel and warhead tips missiles, and these fit with the details displayed on the wall charts.

Unlike the liquid-fuelled Hwasong-14 missile which North Korea tested in July, Hwasong-13 appears to be a three-stage solid fuel rocket; while the solid-fuelled Pukguksong-3 is a longer-range version of the Pukguksong-1 and -2 missiles which were tested in 2016.