North Korea's Latest Ballistic Missile Was A "New Type" With Dramatically Longer Range

Tyler Durden's picture

After North Korea provoked both its neighbors and the US when on Sunday morning it fired off yet another ballistic missile from Kusong near the border with China  - one which this time did not explode upon launch  - just days after the election of a new South Korean president who ironically advocates more engagement with Pyongyang, experts said the missile appeared to be a new type of ballistic missile, and had a far greater range than any other weapon North Korea has successfully launched.

According to Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, the missile rose to a height of about 2,000 kilometers, a much steeper trajectory than usual for a North Korean missile test. She also confirmed that officials were looking into the possibility that it was a "new type of ballistic missile." Japan's cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said the missile traveled for about 30 minutes and landed 700 kilometers east of the launch site. A spokesman for South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff estimated the distance at 435 miles.

Cited by the WSJ, independent experts said the missile, if fired at a conventional angle, could have flown 2,800 miles—far enough to reach the U.S. military base in Guam.

That is a “considerably longer range than its current missiles,” said David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in an analysis of the launch.


As the Journal adds, while North Korea’s Taepodong-2 rocket has flown farther than Sunday’s missile, North Korea classifies it as a satellite launcher that isn’t designed to deliver a warhead back to earth. It is, however, banned by United Nations sanctions because similar technology could be used to make an intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea’s previous most recent launch from Kusong took place in February, during a summit meeting between Mr. Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The February launch also featured a new type of missile for North Korea, one that uses a solid fuel-powered engine. The test involved an intermediate-range ballistic missile that was modified from a missile that North Korea launched from a submarine last year. It was later paraded through the streets of Pyongyang in April for a national holiday.

The missile that North Korea fired Sunday flew further than the previous one launched from Kusong, and its high trajectory—which missile experts said appeared to be a record for the isolated nation—seemed designed to ensure that it didn’t land in Japan’s territory

Whatever the missile's model, however, the response among the international community was prompt. Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s newly elected president, convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council hours after Sunday’s launch, according to a spokesman for the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

During the meeting, Mr. Moon condemned the missile launch as “a grave violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions” and expressed frustration at the North for testing a missile just days after Mr. Moon had said in his inaugural address that he would do whatever it takes to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to the spokesman.


Mr. Moon called North Korea’s missile test a “reckless provocation” and promised a decisive response, although he also kept open the possibility of dialogue, calling for “a change in attitude” by Pyongyang, the spokesman said.

Cited by the WSJ, Lee Seong-hyon, a research fellow at the Sejong Institute in Seoul, said it was common for North Korea to test a new leader in South Korea, adding that it gave Mr. Moon a chance to burnish his national-security credentials and commitment to Seoul’s traditional alliance with Washington. “Pyongyang gave an opportunity for Seoul and Washington to publicly affirm their alliance,” said Mr. Lee. “For Moon, by declaring today that there won’t be any ‘unconditional dialogue’ with North Korea, he brushed aside some skepticism that he may be ‘soft’ on North Korea.”

A spokesman for the Blue House in Seoul said Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the White House’s national-security adviser, had a 25-minute phone call with his South Korean counterpart, Kim Kwan-jin, after the missile test. Both sides condemned the launch and reaffirmed their commitment to working toward a denuclearized North Korea.

As we noted last night, the launch also came just as China's President Xi convened a gathering of world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Beijing to kick off a high-profile "One Belt One Road" infrastructure plan that reflects China’s ambitions for influence across Central Asia and into Europe. China’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday noted Security Council resolutions that limit North Korea’s ballistic-missile launches and urged all parties to “exercise restraint and do nothing to further worsen regional tensions.”

Meanwhile in the US, the White House said Mr. Trump had been briefed on the launch. The official statement contained an odd reference to Russia, which in recent weeks the media has suggested could be using its relationship with North Korea as leverage for diplomatic purposes.

“With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil—in fact, closer to Russia than Japan—the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased,” the White House said in a statement.

Russia, however, did not express nearly as much concern about the latest launch. The Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian missile defense systems tracked the missile test,  adding that it landed some 500 kilometers from Russia and hadn’t posed a threat. It also said that Russia’s ballistic missile launch early warning system detected the launch form North Korea at about 08:30 GMT on Saturday, the ministry said.

“The ballistic target had been tracked in flight by the SPRN for 23 minutes before it fell into the central part of the Sea of Japan, some 500 km from the territory of Russia,” the ministry statement said. It added the missile’s trajectory had been away from Russia at a considerable distance from its border.

“The missile launch didn’t pose any threat to the Russian Federation. Russian early warning radar and air defense forces are on regular duty now,” the ministry said.

In a separate comment posted on Russia's Interfax wire service, Maj. Gen. Vladimir Bogatyryov, a military expert who worked in the Defense Ministry's central apparatus, said the missile launches carried out by North Korea are testament primarily to its desire to ensure its own national security in the face of the military threat emanating from the United States and its partners in the region. "Today's missile launch carried out by North Korea is yet another attestation of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] trying in every possible way to exercise its right to defend its national interests," Bogatyryov told Interfax-AVN on Sunday.

In an unexpected pivot, the Russian then added that "it is time for Washington and its allies, and the global community to look at the problem of security on the Korean peninsula from a different perspective, by taking into account not only their own interests, but Pyongyang's concerns as well, the expert said.

"Constant threats to solve the problem militarily, encroachments on the DPRK's sovereignty, the large-scale joint drills held by the U.S. with Japan and South Korea near North Korea's border, are forcing Pyongyang to keep its gunpowder dry, by maintaining combat readiness at the highest level, including by regularly 'snarling' missile launches," Bogatyryov said.


He sees it as no security threat to Russia.

Which begs the question: is the apparent softening of Russia's position toward North Korea, an attempt to gain leverage with the Kim regime, and if so what does the Kremlin gain from it, especially since even Beijing had voiced a vocal condemnation of Pyongyang recent provocations and followed through with coal import and oil sanctions. While still a low probability, the potential emergence of a Russia-NKorea axis could lead to a potential complication for US plans to deter the Kim regime by all means possible, including a potential "decapitation" strike as has been proposed in recent weeks.

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ms8173's picture

Is that two launches this weekend?  

tmosley's picture

One wonders if Kim intentionally attempted to provoke Russia for no reason, or if the US hijacked their missile and sent it towards Vladivostok as a next-level troll.

Will the next one turn around and hit Pyongyang?

Kotzbomber747's picture

Where is the Carl Vinson?

Where are the tweets from the Orange Baby in Chief?

Where is the "WW3-could-break-out-any-time" scaremongering?

tmosley's picture

Who cares? What matters is the North Korean situation is being handled, non-violently, just like I told you idiot peanutz.

cheka's picture

more importantly, they called out israel for its crimes


BaBaBouy's picture

ONE Day, ISIS will make an Offer to KIMJ that he can't Refuse, and then we're Really FUCKED...

AltRight Girl's picture

All this propaganda against North Korea is getting stale. anyone neighbouring China and russia would want nukes. Throw in 2 US colonies and that just increases the need.

What if Everything We’re Being Told About U.S.-North Korea Tensions is Wrong?

Raffie's picture

They could use the THADD on Kimys test rockets to make sure THADD works as a good exercise instead of waiting for the real thing.

But thats me....

dark fiber's picture

Then again China may not approve of such a thing.  US power is waning and it beginning to show in glaring ways.

Raffie's picture

One way to find out....


shamus001's picture

This "new" rocket must have upgraded it's platform beyond Windows XP :)

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Capable of merciless strikes, no doubt.

Johnny Caine's picture

AssClowns still pushing this shit, wtf is going on with ZH ?? It's almost like  (((somebody different ))) owns it over the past few months. I started reading the Hedge a few years ago because they seem to know what's up with the lies and propaganda as well as having great financial advice. Now it's basically parroting MSM and suckING the cock of the military Industrial Comlpex. Sad...

East Indian's picture

The Tylers have retired to distant Caribbean islands, after getting a huge pile of digital fiats. The Masters of the Universe are now in charge. They are letting us chatter freely, to mark those who may need to be eliminated when the SHTF...

Troll Magnet's picture

Mofo's got balls. I'll give him that.

takeaction's picture

He has nothing to lose...

He is a young punk narcisist with power...

I picture him like a TSA Agent...find somebody that can barely qualify for any job...give them a badge...and a uniform...turn them loose.


Troll Magnet's picture

Is he a former community organizer married to a tranny, too?

land_of_the_few's picture

Wife looks shockingly normal.

Also, rumours in Western press about his ex being executed appear to be entirely made-up hooey, as you might expect.

Seems there are plenty of clues in the story if you read it carefully. So, relax, you can still get a performance of ""Excellent Horse-like Lady". A song. In case you wondered.


Johnny Caine's picture

He has everything to lose, if NATO decides to Invade ( to suck more money into the American War Machine) than Kim Jong is fucked. Anyway, The Japanese run North Korea, it has always been that way. Everytime the US Congress talks about shutting down their bases in the Far East Japan calls up NK like 'A Yo, fling one of those shitty ass muffiggin missiles 600 miles off a Yoshis Muffiggin coast dawg. These niggaz talkin' bout makin' us pay fo' our own sheeeeeeeit again, hell naw!!' This is a fucking money game. Every. Single. Thing. Is a fucking money game. Ideology is for peasants and pissants. 

Robert Trip's picture

Not "Fake News."

This is unadulterated "Bullshit News."

At least this takes the heat off of the Canadians for awhile with their cheap trees and healthy dairy that are threatening our very economic foundation.

cherry picker's picture

This Canadian is going to start testing missiles. writing the UN to put sanctions on the USA, a terrorist organization.

Proof, Microsoft and Windows 10.

We'll keep our cheap trees.

King of Ruperts Land's picture

Canada was on the way to be an independent state. Then it chopped up its avro arrow fighter jet and bent over and let the western globalists have there way with it. Its been on its knees like that ever since.

land_of_the_few's picture

To be fair, its location is a little problematic for independence, what with it being sandwiched between Alaska and Minnesota ... still, if the Zulus can do it ...

researchfix's picture

"This is unadulterated "Bullshit News.""

I am wondering too, why ZH articles always claim that there is animosity between China and NK. NK was invited to the OBOR meeting in Beijing. USA was not. Because NK is an EurAsian country. That´s the ticket. I wonder when the Europeans will wake up.

wchild's picture

Not gonna end well... What a f*cking mess! 

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

. . . "According to Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, the missile rose to a height of about 2,000 kilometers"

2,000 KILOMETERS is about 1,250 miles.  That's actually into high orbit and is higher than most satellites orbiting earth now, and the missile would need thermal tiles to reenter the earth's atmosphere. 

I think Defense Minister Tomomi Inada exaggerated, slightly.

DavidFL's picture

He did not exaggerate - he is simply an idiot, an idiot who knows nothing about the sbuject! These are the people running the world today.


land_of_the_few's picture

Inada needs to get real. A proper working *professional* ICBM doesn't go higher than 1200km, not the 2000km he's claiming. Seriously doubt they have just managed that on an early attempt and why would such a missile carry that much fuel? It would need to be way bigger than a normal ICBM.

Robert Trip's picture

Our 5000 mile range Minuteman 3 missiles are "good" missiles.

The Koreans 700 mile range missiles are "bad" missiles and ARE a threat to the future of humanity itself.

The MIC needs another $34 Billion to counter this threat.

Hey. No fucking problem. The check is in the mail.

But that middle class tax cut? A lot of further study needed with some hugely hurdles to jump over.

serotonindumptruck's picture

The snark is strong.

Keep 'em comin'.

aloha_snakbar's picture

Good God... why cant Kim be like other guys with micro-weiners and compensate by buying a Hummer, or whatever?

DavidFL's picture

"According to Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, the missile rose to a height of about 2,000 kilometers....."

Lets try to get the facts straight - 2,000 kilometers puts the missle in the upper band of low earth orbit. Incredible reporting - so what are the actual facts - I would not believe anything this article purports as fact! This world is truly full of morons - we are doomed!

krage_man's picture

True, International Space Station is in about 400 km up..

peddling-fiction's picture

The ISS is orbiting in the thermosphere where most metals melt or glow red.

It is great they have solar panels and suits designed for that heat.

rejected's picture

There are 3 types of heat transfer. Read up on it. I know,,, I know,,, it takes time and effort but then maybe you can figure out why the ISS isn't melting.

peddling-fiction's picture

<chuckle> is that the best you got, gatekeeper?

The NSA just restarted my browser after replying.

Probably because my comments don't upset them. /s

Dickweed Wang's picture

Sorry to burst your flat earth bubble but if you're implying the ISS doesn't exist maybe you should get a good set of binocs and look for yourself.  I've seen the thing fly over my location with my own two eyes several times.  Very impressive . . . . and moronic to think the thing is just a prop or some stupid shit like that.

land_of_the_few's picture

Not hot or glowing check here:-

But nice video of Aurora Borealis


land_of_the_few's picture

There were some falling stars aka meteors ...

peddling-fiction's picture

Luke, the Constellations, where are they?

We are in space, Luke, Luuuke.

land_of_the_few's picture

Around the 3:25 mark or so. Are you blind bliiind.

peddling-fiction's picture

The first 20 some seconds it whizzed around Earth many times with deep space as a backdrop and not one star.

Not one.

3:25 was the "money" shot, cause, you know, there are stars, and we need to show em. Sometimes.

East Indian's picture

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"[

land_of_the_few's picture

I have personally seen many satellites tracking across the sky with only eyesight on one occasion near the sea, I was very shocked to see this because in most countries there is too much light pollution and smog from cities to see much at all. It was also possible to see the Milky Way, many galaxies and their colors and thousands of stars which you never see in the city. You could tell they were satellites because they shine in a metallic way, and move in different directions but on absolutely consistent paths at various different angles with no speed variation, and no blinky colored lights like planes and helicopters have.

I was a bit disappointed I didn't have a telescope but it turned out there was absolutely no need. Also I could see jellyfish glowing in lagoons on the beach I suppose pretty dark night in general.

However, this is possibly if you go to deep country nowhere near a city, preferably in an area where there isn't much industry, and being on the edge of the sea helps too, no city lights.

"Satellite watching is generally done with the naked eye or with the aid of binoculars since most low Earth orbit satellites move too quickly to be tracked easily by telescope. It is this movement, as the satellite tracks across the night sky, that makes them relatively easy to see. As with any sky-watching pastime, the darker the sky the better, so hobbyists will meet with better success further away from light-polluted urban areas...."


land_of_the_few's picture

   "Even though the temperature is so high, one would not feel warm in the thermosphere, because it is so near vacuum that there is not enough contact with the few atoms of gas to transfer much heat."

peddling-fiction's picture

Added after I pointed this out last year. Convenient.

The whole section has been reedited and the ISS quote added.


land_of_the_few's picture

So those dudes that get sent up by rocket in Kazakhstan, and come back down again in visibly scorched-by-reentry Soyuz capsules?