North Korea has expanded work at a major factory for production of long ranged ballistic missiles
PYONGYANF, (BM) – North Korea has reportedly expanded work at a major armaments factory associated with the production of long ranged ballistic missiles, according to American media reports citing satellite imagery, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
This comes as Pyongyang’s new year’s deadline for the United States to return to the negotiating table approaches, with the East Asian state indicating it could resume testing of strategic ballistic missiles should this be missed.
North Korea has notably suspended testing of such missiles since November 2017, when it demonstrated the capability to strike the United States with the Hwasong-15 ICBM, and carried out no ballistic missile tests for over a year afterwards. Following the breakdown of talks with the U.S. leadership in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February 2019, tests of short ranged tactical ballistic missile systems resumed – signalling the state’s dissatisfaction with the pace of negotiations.
Pyongyang has recently threatened to present Washington with a ‘Christmas gift’ which analysts have speculated could be a new ICBM – possibly a new design to succeed the Hwasong-15 or a submarine launched platform.
The U.S. Air Force has also anticipated a long range test which, in light of Washington’s unwillingness to compromise on negotiations for sanctions relief, is likely to be carried out. The potential consequences for the ongoing detente between the two states, and for the Donald Trump administration’s 2020 election campaign, remain significant.
While North Korea is currently surveyed by more Western satellites than the entire Soviet Union was during the Cold War, the state maintains the vast majority of its weapons facilities and military bases, including airbases, underground. It is difficult, therefore, to gain a fuller picture of the progress made in developing new missile designs and mass producing existing designs.
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Source: Military Watch Magazine