Seoul, South Korea:
The gargantuan new missile presented by North Korea in a military parade is an explicit threat to US defenses and an implicit challenge to both the current US president and the next US president, analysts say, warning that Pyongyang could test the weapon next year.
Chief Kim Jong Un watched the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) roll through Kim Il Sung Square – named after his grandfather – in Pyongyang at the culmination of an unprecedented night parade on Saturday.
Analysts agreed that it was the largest liquid-fueled mobile road missile in the world and was most likely designed to carry multiple warheads in independent re-entry vehicles (MIRVs).
Jeffrey Lewis, of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said it “was clearly aimed at crushing the US missile defense system in Alaska.”
If the ICBM carried three or four warheads, he added on Twitter, the United States would have to spend around $ 1 billion on 12 to 16 interceptors to defend against each missile.
“At that price, I’m pretty sure North Korea can add warheads faster than we can add interceptors.”
The missile was estimated to be 24 meters long and 2.5 meters in diameter, which specialist Markus Schiller said was large enough to carry 100 tonnes of fuel, which would take hours to load.
It was so big and heavy that it was practically unusable, he added, “You can’t move this powered stuff, and you can’t fill it at the launch site.
“This thing makes absolutely no sense except for threat equation games, like sending the message ‘We now have a mobile ICBM with MIRVs, be very scared.’
North Korean observers routinely warn that the devices Pyongyang showcases on its parades may be mock-ups or models, and there is no evidence that they will work until tested.
But the missile was carried on a huge, previously invisible 11-axle transporter-assembler-launcher, far larger than the Chinese-made eight-axle vehicles the North has employed so far.
“The truck is perhaps a scarier story than the missile,” said Melissa Hanham of the Open Nuclear Network.
“If the DPRK locally produces its own chassis, then there is less constraint on the number of ICBMs it can launch.”
– Red lines –
Shortly before his inauguration in 2017, Donald Trump tweeted that North Korea developing a weapon capable of reaching parts of the United States “will not happen!”
He spent the first year of his presidency – which saw the North launch an ICBM with the range to do just that – in a growing war of words with Kim before an extraordinary diplomatic bromance developed between them.
But nuclear negotiations have been deadlocked since their Hanoi summit collapsed early last year on sanctions relief and what the North would be willing to give up in return.
The ICBM was proof that the North had continued to build its arsenal throughout the diplomatic process, analysts said, and gave Pyongyang more leverage to demand a return to the negotiating table.
“Like it or not, North Korea is a nuclear power and is probably the third nuclear power capable of striking American cities, third after Russia and China,” Andrei Lankov of Korea told AFP Risk Group.
Kim was sending a message to the United States that the capacities of the North were improving and that “if you don’t want to make a deal now, you will have to make a deal some time later which will be worse for you, the international community.” he added.
More than 12 hours after the parade ended on North Korean state television, Trump had yet to tweet about it – and neither had his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Trump made much of Kim’s promise to no longer conduct ICBMs or nuclear testing, and Shin Beom-chul of the Korea National Strategy Research Institute said that by displaying the missile rather than to launch it, Pyongyang had stopped before crossing its red lines.
“But it also indicates that North Korea could make a launch if Trump is re-elected and ignores the North Korean issue,” he said, adding, “If Biden is elected and he doesn’t listen North Korea, it will be adopted. a launch. “
(This story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)