Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

N. Korea leader orders nuclear warhead test, missile launches
Seoul (AFP) March 15, 2016

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has ordered an upcoming nuclear warhead test and multiple ballistic missile launches, escalating Pyongyang's face-off with the international community just days after being slapped with tough UN sanctions.

The order came after Kim monitored what was described as the successful simulated test of the warhead re-entry technology required for a long-range nuclear strike on the US mainland, the North's official KCNA news agency said Tuesday.

Military tensions have been soaring on the divided Korean peninsula since the North carried out its fourth nuclear test on January 6, followed a month later by a long-range rocket launch that was widely seen as a disguised ballistic missile test.

The UN Security Council responded earlier this month by imposing its toughest sanctions on North Korea to date.

Pyongyang, meanwhile, has maintained a daily barrage of nuclear strike threats against both Seoul and Washington, ostensibly over ongoing, large-scale South Korea-US military drills that the North sees as provocative rehearsals for invasion.

- Tests 'in a short time' -

In order to boost the reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent still further, Kim said a nuclear warhead explosion test and firings of "several kinds" of ballistic rockets would be carried out "in a short time".

"He instructed the relevant section to make pre-arrangement for them to the last detail," KCNA said.

The order came days after state media released photos of Kim posing with what was claimed to be a miniaturised nuclear warhead capable of fitting on a ballistic missile.

Meeting with her cabinet ministers on Tuesday, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said North Korea's endless threats reflected a "sense of crisis" in Pyongyang at its increasing diplomatic and economic isolation.

"If North Korea continues its provocations and confrontation with the international community and does not walk the path of change, it will walk the path of self-destruction," Park said.

While North Korea is known to have a small stockpile of nuclear weapons, its ability to deliver them accurately to a chosen target on the tip of a ballistic missile has been a subject of heated debate.

There are numerous question marks over the North's weapons delivery systems, with many experts believing it is still years from developing a working inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could strike the continental United States.

Tuesday's KCNA report was accompanied by photos of Kim personally monitoring a test simulating the intense heat a nuclear warhead would experience during atmospheric re-entry.

- Re-entry 'guarantee' -

Protected by "newly developed heat-resisting material" the warhead was reportedly subjected to thermal flows five times hotter than those associated with ICBM flight.

The test was a complete success, the agency said, and provided a "sure guarantee" of the warhead's ability to withstand re-entry -- a major step in the North's push towards a genuine ICBM nuclear strike capability.

South Korea's defence ministry said it was sceptical of the claim.

"According to our military analysis, North Korea has not yet secured re-entry technology," ministry spokesman Moon Sang-Gyun told reporters.

North Korea has never tested an ICBM, although it has displayed such a missile, known as the KN-08, during recent mass military parades in Pyongyang.

"It seems highly likely that North Korea is on the verge of conducting a long-range ballistic missile test, involving re-entry," said Chang Yong-Seok, a senior researcher at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University

"It wants to show that sanctions are not effective and to boost the credibility of its deterrent," Chang said.

Melissa Hanham, an expert on North Korea's WMD programme at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, voiced concerns over just how far the North would go to "prove" its technical abilities.

China tested a medium-range ballistic missile with a 12-kiloton nuclear warhead in 1966, the only time a country has flight-tested a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile over populated areas.

"I don't know how North Korea's neighbours could distinguish testing a nuclear-tipped KN-08 from an attack. It would be very dangerous, very destabilising," Hanham said.


Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
Learn about missile defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
US Treasury official to China to discuss North Korea
Washington (AFP) March 14, 2016
A top US Treasury official will visit China this week to discuss North Korea's menacing actions and sanctions aimed at curbing the country's "destabilizing behavior," the Treasury announced Monday. Adam Szubin, Treasury acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, will visit Beijing and Hong Kong on March 15-16 for discussions with both government officials and the privat ... read more

S. Korea, US open missile shield talks

Israeli Air Force deploying 'David's Sling' missile defense system

US Missile Defense Outdated

China Interfering in THAAD Deployment Decision Process Preposterous

US asks UN Security Council to meet on Iran missile tests Monday

Russia opposes UN sanctions on Iran over missile tests

Indonesia gets State Dept. approval for missile purchase

Algeria army recovers Stinger missiles from slain jihadists

Researchers develop miniaturized fuel cell that makes drones fly more than 1 hour

Inside the Pentagon's Drone Proving Ground

Intelsat and L-3 demonstrate automatic beam switching for UAVs

White House to release data on drone strikes

Upgrade set for Britain's tactical communications system

In-orbit delivery of Laos' 1st satellite launched

Airbus continues operating German military satellites

BAE Systems supports Navy communications and electronics

Ford offers police greater ballistic protection for vehicles

DynCorp wins U.S. intelligence support contract

Factory for Ajax armored vehicles inaugurated

New mortars for Ukraine military

Lockheed Martin plans voluntary layoffs for 1,000

Defense Industry center opens in South Australia

China defence spending to rise '7 to 8%' in 2016: official

EU lawmakers urge Saudi arms embargo

Tiananmen dissident warns of Trump danger

Vietnam anti-China activists mark Spratly island battle

China to establish international maritime judicial centre

Beijing accuses Tokyo over patrol planes for Philippines

Building a better mouse trap, from the atoms up

From backyard pool chemical to nanomaterial

Nanoparticles on nanosteps

Thermal measurements with nanometer resolution

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.