North Korea’s ICBM tests may be a deception tactic to hide a much more capable threat
North Korea surprised the world by making huge strides in missile technology since launching an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, but according to James Kiessling, the mobile road missile can be a deception.
Kiessling, who works in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, gave personal views of Business Insider in North Korea, which does not represent the official position of the Pentagon.
“If you are really concerned about an ICBM to anyone, go back and look at history for what everyone has done for intercontinental ballistic missiles,” said Kiessling. “Every first ICBM liquid is purified.”
Through careful analysis of North Korea’s images and missile launching program statistics, Kiessling found that path and mobile-based missiles showing trucks may not work as expected and may be deliberate distractions from a draft More capable missiles.
In a document for Breaking Defense, Kiessling and his colleague Ralph Savelsberg showed a model of North Korean ballistic missiles and concluded that their small size made it basically useless to reach the United States with a significant load.
History suggests that building a true ICBM liquid fuel that can be transported in a truck has huge, if not insurmountable, problems, designers.
“The United States and the Soviets tried very hard and were never able to achieve a level of miniaturization and robustness that would support a mobile ICBM path,” Kiessling said, referring to the mineralization of warheads needed to integrate missile.
ICBMs using liquid fuel, like North Korea are “very likely to offend or damage the tankage” while being transported in a truck bumpy.
ICBM North Korea intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong 14 AP_17185312955179
“Although not impossible, it is very difficult and extremely dangerous” to put an ICBM liquid fuel in a truck, according to Kiessling.
Instead, the United States, the Soviets and the Chinese have all created Silo-based missiles because static missiles are more stable and less prone to damage.
But there is no evidence that North Korea built a silo for missile launch, and Kiessling said that this could be due to a massive cheating campaign that could have fooled some of the world’s best missile experts.
Kiessling thinks that North Korea is preparing for a silo-based missile that combines parts of Hwasong-14, the ICBM, with its space launch vehicle, the Fingernail. The Unha and the Hwasong-14 were tested separately and Kiessling said they could be easily combined.
This analysis corresponds to comments by Mike Elleman, a senior missile defense student at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, who told Business Insider that he saw Hwasong-14 as a “tentative capability” that North Korea used to demonstrate an ICBM As fast as possible.