Kim Jong Un says his scientists have made a huge leap forward by mounting Nuclear Warhead to Ballistic Missile

Kim Jung Un with ICBM

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • North Korea aims to have world’s most powerful nuclear force, leader Kim says
  • The announcement comes after Kim inspected a test of the country’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile and pledged to counter what he called U.S. nuclear threats
  • North Korea’s “ultimate goal is to possess the world’s most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century”
  • Kim said in the order promoting the officers, adding that building up the country’s nuclear capabilities would reliably protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people.
  • He described the Hwasong-17 as the “world’s strongest strategic weapon” and said it demonstrated North Korea’s resolve and ability to eventually build the world’s strongest army.
  • North Korean scientists have made a “wonderful leap forward in the development of the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles,” and were expected to expand and strengthen the country’s nuclear deterrent capabilities at an extraordinarily rapid pace, Kim was also quoted as saying.

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Iranian minister denies recent mid-range ballistic missile test

Iranian Defence Minister Dehghan delivers a speech as he attends 5th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s minister of defence denied on Monday that the Revolutionary Guards had recently tested a medium-range ballistic missile but reiterated that Tehran had not stopped bolstering what it insists is a purely defensive arsenal.

Earlier, the Tasnim news agency quoted Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi as saying Iran had successfully tested a precision-guided missile two weeks ago with a range of 2,000 kms (1,240 miles).

The Islamic Republic has worked to improve the range and accuracy of its missiles over the past year, which it says will make them a more potent deterrent with conventional warheads against its enemy Israel.

“We haven’t test-fired a missile with the range media reported,” Iranian Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

The United States and some European powers have said other recent tests violate a United Nations resolution that prohibits Iran from firing any missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Iran says the missiles are not designed to carry nuclear warheads, which it does not possess.

Washington has imposed new sanctions on Tehran over recent tests, even after it lifted nuclear-related sanctions in January as Tehran implemented the nuclear deal it reached with world powers last year.

Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in March that missile development was key to the Islamic Republic’s future, in order to maintain its defensive power and resist threats from its enemies.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Writing by Sam Wilkin; editing by Richard Balmforth)

Secretive North Korea lifts veil on arms program

KCNA file picture shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looking at a rocket warhead tip after a simulated test of atmospheric re-entry of a ballistic missile

By Jack Kim and David Brunnstrom

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ahead of a rare ruling party Congress next month, secretive North Korea is revealing details of its weapons development program for the first time, showcasing its push to develop long-range nuclear missiles despite international sanctions.

Until recently, information on the North’s weapons program was hard to come by, with foreign governments and experts relying on satellite imagery, tiny samples of atomic particles collected after nuclear tests and mangled parts and materials recovered from long-range rocket launches.

No longer. In just over a month, the North has published articles with technicolor photographic detail on a range of tests and other activities that point to fast-paced efforts to build a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The reason for the revelations, many analysts say, is that Pyongyang believes convincing the world, and its own people, of its nuclear prowess is as important as the prowess itself. Nevertheless, isolated North Korea’s true capabilities and intentions remain unknown.

“Close-up pictures of ground test activities are almost unprecedented from the DPRK,” John Schilling, an aerospace engineer specializing in satellite and launch vehicle propulsion systems, told Reuters.

DPRK stands for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name. The reclusive state has conducted four nuclear tests in the past 10 years, the last in January.

“The openness suggests that the underlying strategy is as much diplomatic as military: it is important to Pyongyang not only that they have these capabilities, but that we believe they have these capabilities,” Schilling said.

In its latest revelations, North Korean state media reported on Saturday that the country had carried out a successful test of a new ICBM engine. Pictures showed what experts said were the engines of two Soviet-designed R-27 missiles clustered together, ejecting two exhaust plumes.

The claims indicate the North has no intention of slowing down, despite last month’s United Nations sanctions and stern warnings from Washington and elsewhere, said Michael Elleman, a U.S.-based rocket expert with the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“The revelations, pronouncements and ‘tests’ appear to be part of a campaign to establish the narrative that Pyongyang has, or will soon have, a nuclear-armed, long-range missile that could threaten the U.S. mainland,” he said.

“Each unveiling, if real, would be part of a structured program aimed at developing the capability. The open question is: How real are these tests?”

The activities are likely to be watched closely by U.N. experts assigned to enforce sanctions prohibiting the North from engaging in work that involves ballistic missile technology.


There is an increasing feeling among international arms experts that North Korea’s capability may be more advanced than previously thought. It could have a primitive but operable ICBM “later this decade,” said a U.S. government source with intelligence on the North’s weapons program.

Overcoming such scepticism, and fuelling alarm for its neighbors and the United States, may be the intended effect, with significant domestic propaganda value ahead of the May ruling party congress, said Yang Moo-jin of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

“To a normal military, arms development is supposed to be classified,” he said. “But Kim Jong Un had years of the South and the U.S. putting his military down, so now he wants to maximize the perceived threat of what he’s trying to develop.”

The recent ICBM engine test followed the March test of a solid-fuel rocket engine and a simulated test of atmospheric re-entry of a missile warhead.

Kim has vowed another nuclear warhead test soon, which would be the country’s fifth. Some analysts say it could be timed to take place just before the congress, at which Kim is likely to unveil an official policy of twinning economic development with nuclear capability.

Kim also claimed in March that his country has miniaturized a nuclear warhead to be mounted on a ballistic missile. Media reports displayed a spherical object and a jubilant Kim standing before a large rocket-shaped object similar to the KN-08 ICBM.

The choreographed manner in which the weapons tests appear to be taking place also points to political posturing rather than rigorous technical examination, some analysts have said.

Given the North’s secrecy, penchant for bombastic propaganda and history of manipulating photographic and video images, its claims are still met with plenty of scepticism.

“I am still not convinced that everything really is what they want us to believe it is,” said German aerospace engineer Markus Schiller, who has closely followed the North’s missile development program.

(Editing by Tony Munroe and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Kim Jong Un says North Korea will soon test nuclear warhead

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country would soon test a nuclear warhead and ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the North’s KCNA news agency reported, in what would be a direct violation of U.N. resolutions which have the backing of the North’s chief ally, China.

Kim made the comments as he supervised a successful simulated test of atmospheric re-entry of a ballistic missile that measured the “thermodynamic structural stability of newly developed heat-resisting materials”, KCNA said.

“Declaring that a nuclear warhead explosion test and a test-fire of several kinds of ballistic rockets able to carry nuclear warheads will be conducted in a short time to further enhance the reliance of nuclear attack capability, he (Kim) instructed the relevant section to make prearrangement for them to the last detail,” the agency said.

South Korea’s defense ministry said there were no indications of activities at the North’s nuclear test site or its long-range rocket station, but that North Korea continues to maintain readiness to conduct nuclear tests.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said the North would lead itself to self-destruction if it did not change and continued the confrontation with the international community.

The North’s report comes amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula as South Korean and U.S. troops stage annual military exercises that Seoul has described as the largest ever.

In the apparent re-entry simulation, the official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party carried pictures on Tuesday of a dome-shaped object placed under what appeared to be a rocket engine and being blasted with flaming exhaust. In separate images, Kim observed the object described by KCNA as a warhead tip.

The North has issued belligerent statements almost daily since coming under a new U.N. resolution adopted this month to tighten sanctions against it after a nuclear test in January and the launch of a long-range rocket last month.

In 1962, the United States launched a ballistic missile with a live warhead in what was known as the Frigate Bird test. China conducted a similar test in 1966.

“What would be terrible is if the DPRK (North Korea) re-enacted Operation Frigate Bird or the fourth Chinese nuclear test and did a two-in-one,” said Jeffrey Lewis of the California-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

“For now, though, it looks like a nuclear test and several missile tests in close succession.”


South Korea’s defense ministry said after the North’s report that it still does not believe the North has acquired missile re-entry technology.

U.S. and South Korean experts have said the general consensus is that North Korea has not yet successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

More crucially, the consensus is that there have been no tests to prove it has mastered the re-entry technology needed to bring a payload back into the atmosphere.

Kim said last week his country had miniaturized a nuclear warhead.

The North, which has conducted four nuclear tests, also claims that its January nuclear test was of a hydrogen bomb, although most experts said the blast was too small for it to have been from a full-fledged hydrogen bomb.

The North also says the satellites it has launched into orbit are functioning successfully, although that has not been verified independently.

North Korea rejects criticism of its nuclear and missile programs, even from old ally China, saying it has a sovereign right to defend itself from threats and to run a space program putting satellites into orbit.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday urged prudence.

“We urge all the relevant sides to conscientiously carry out what is required by the U.N. Security Council, speak and act cautiously, and all relevant sides must not take any action that would exacerbate tensions on the Korean peninsula,” said ministry spokesman Lu Kang at a regular briefing.

The new U.N. Security Council resolution sharply expanded existing sanctions by requiring member states to inspect all cargo to and from North Korea and banning the North’s trade of coal when it is seen as funding its arms program.

The foreign ministers of South Korea and China discussed the new sanctions against North Korea by telephone late on Monday and agreed it was important to implement them “in a complete and comprehensive manner”, China said on Tuesday.

(Additional reporting by Ju-min Park in Seoul, John Ruwitch in Shanghai and Megha Rajagopalan in Beijing; Editing by Tony Munroe and Nick Macfie)