ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on December 7th, 2011 at 8:25 am

Pentagon Reveals North Korea Is Developing A Mobile ICBM

» by in: North Korea

Here is North Korea’s latest effort to develop a capacity to threaten the United States:

New intelligence indicates that North Korea is moving ahead with building its first road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, an easily hidden weapon capable of hitting the United States, according to Obama administration officials.

The intelligence was revealed in a classified Capitol Hill briefing last month. Its existence was made public in a letter to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta from five House Republicans.

“As members of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces …, we write out of concerns about new intelligence concerning foreign developments in long-range ballistic missile development, specifically ballistic missiles capable of attacking the United States,” the Nov. 17 letter said.

“We believe this new intelligence reiterates the need for the administration to correct its priorities regarding missile defenses, which should have, first and foremost, the missile defense of the homeland.”

Officials familiar with the intelligence said government analysts believe the missile could be a variant of North Korea’s new Musudan intermediate-range missile, first disclosed publicly in October 2010.

Other intelligence indicates that the new ICBM may be under development at a huge missile testing facility on North Korea’s western coast.

Prior to its mobile ICBM, North Korea’s long-range missiles were the pad-launched Taepodong-1 prototype, and the Taepodong-2 (TD-2) dual-use ICBM and space launcher. The TD-2 was test-launched in April 2009.

‘Direct threat’

Mobile missiles are difficult for tracking radar to locate, making them easier to hide. They also can be set up and launched much more quickly than missiles fired from silos or launchpads.

China’s military recently deployed two new mobile ICBMs, the DF-31 and DF-31A. It is not known whether North Korea’s new mobile missile is based on Chinese technology. China in the past has provided missile technology to North Korea, a fraternal communist ally.  [Washington Times]

You can read a lot more at the link.

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  • Conway Eastwood
    4:02 pm on December 7th, 2011 1

    Mobile ICBM? ICBMs don’t need to be mobile. They’re designed to strike anywhere in the world. That’s the point.

    If you want mobile ICBMs, use the SLBMs.

  • JoeC
    6:36 pm on December 7th, 2011 2

    I guess, in theory, if you only have fixed launch position ICBMs they can be targeted and render the launch pads, paths or silos unusable. But I don’t see mobile ICBMs being much more practical for NKorea.

    When you consider the Chinese DF-31s on TELs, they are 40 ft missiles on pretty conspicuous looking transports. They may be more practical in countries with huge land masses like China and Russia. But no so much in a country the size of North Korea. We’ve come a long ways, particularly with wide and persistent coverage UAVs, from our limited ability to hunt mobile SCUDs in Iraq 20 years ago.

  • someotherguy
    6:39 pm on December 7th, 2011 3

    I think “portable” ICBM is a better description as all missiles are rather “mobile”.

    It’s just a launchpad that can be moved around so as to avoid being preemptively hit.

  • Discussion: North Korean Mobile ICBMs – Implications for Japan | Japan Security Watch
    6:50 pm on December 7th, 2011 4

    [...] of the Taepodong II tests, maybe we have nothing to worry about?What do you think, readers?[H/T ROK Drop]Possibly related:In the D.C. Area this weekend?Protecting South Korea’s West Sea Islands: [...]

  • Ole Tanker
    8:11 pm on December 7th, 2011 5

    Mobile ICBM’s are a real threat. Don’t over estimate our ability to detect them.

    Get a couple of caves and tunnels in mountains. Pull out launch..hide. Rotate firing positions. :cool:

    A real headache to neutalize. :sad:

  • Ole Tanker
    8:35 pm on December 7th, 2011 6

    But. After they launch the first one. The gloves are off.

    TaDa, no more North Korea, it will make OIF look like piano recital.

    “Cry Havoc! And loose the Dogs of war.” :evil:

  • Teadrinker
    6:37 am on December 8th, 2011 7


    Trust me when I say nothing gets built in North Korea without our side knowing, even if it’s underground.

  • Ole Tanker
    4:42 pm on December 8th, 2011 8

    #7, We knew Hitler was making V1′s and V2′s too. Didn’t stop them. :cool:

    That took occupying the launch sites. :cool: :cool:

  • Tom Langley
    9:29 pm on December 8th, 2011 9

    Mobile ICBM’s ARE a threat. That is why Russia is developing them. Satellites can find the locations of fixed ICBM silos but locating the exact locations of mobile launchers is much more difficult. While they are having a difficult time creating reliable nuclear weapons & missiles eventually they will succeed. The nuclear centrifuge plant that one of our scientist was shown shows that with hard work & determination that the communist North Koreans can achieve certain technological objectives that they consider to be in their national interest. A nuclear (or chemical or biologically) armed ICBM IS a threat to the US as the NK leaders aren’t exactly rational. They have attacked the US before (Pueblo, ax murders) just as they have attacked the South Koreans. I hope the President does not gut missile defense.


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