Photo Credit: APU.S. intelligence agencies monitoring North Korea for signs of a third underground nuclear test recently reported that the isolated communist state appears set to conduct the first test launch of a new road-mobile ICBM built with Chinese technology.
U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports said the North Koreans are expected to test fire either a new KN-08 road-mobile ICBM—capable of reaching parts of the United States—or a new medium-range advanced missile called the Musudan, also built on hard-to-detect mobile launchers.
New intelligence on the KN-08, which was showcased for the first time last April during a North Korean military parade atop a Chinese-made mobile transporter-launcher, indicates the North Koreans are preparing to launch one or more of the missiles around the time they conduct a future nuclear test.
Six of the missiles were shown during the parade. The range of the missile is not known because it has not yet been flight-tested. However, intelligence agencies believe it can range Alaska and Hawaii and possibly the U.S. West Coast.
The missile test preparations coincide with new intelligence indicating the North Koreans could conduct a third underground nuclear test at a remote facility in the northern part of the country called Kilju. Earlier nuclear tests were conducted in 2006 and 2009.
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