Category Archives: Missile Testing

New North Korea Submarine Missile Allows Covert Nuclear Strike on US, Iran will follow..

Regime tests nuclear-capable missile from underwater for first time, as officials blame Obama for allowing ‘tragedy.’
 Iran will have this next week now too…
Military submarine (illustration)

In a worrying step showing North Korea’s rapidly expanding nuclear strike capabilities, the Communist regime recently held a test of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the first time it has launched a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead from underwater.

According to US defense officials cited by the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday, the test took place on April 22 from an underwater test platform near the coastal city of Sinpo in the southeast of the country, and tested what the US is calling a KN-11 missile.

The test appears to have been successful, and is the third KN-11 test showing the high-priority of the nuclear missile program for North Korea. Previous tests in January and last October were from a sea-based platform not underwater and a land-based platform.

The KN-11 joins the KN-08 mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as being part of a varied North Korean missile arsenal on platforms that would be hard for the US to detect, and consequently allow a strike that would be difficult to shoot down.

Admiral Bill Gortney, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command, admitted last month that North Korea could hit the continental US with a nuclear strike. That admission accompanied the announcement that NORAD is reopening its nuclear-EMP-proof Cheyenne Mountain bunker, apparently amid renewed concerns of an EMP attack by which a nuclear weapon would be detonated over the US, knocking out all of its electronic devices, and thereby rendering it defenseless to secondary nuclear strikes.

The latest launch test also comes after Chinese experts warned the US last month that American estimates are wrong and North Korea actually has 20 nuclear weapons, with that arsenal to double next year thanks to the regime’s higher than anticipated advanced enrichment capabilities.

Nuclear strikes the US won’t see coming

Admiral Cecil D. Haney, commander of the Strategic Command, confirmed the SLBM launch test in comments to the Senate on March 19, reports the Washington Free Beacon. The program is in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Regarding the UN, it was reported last month that US President Barack Obama hid intel from the UN about North Korea transferring rocket components needed to create a nuclear missile to Iran even during the nuclear talks, to try and prevent the UN from acting on the information with increased sanctions.

Former US Defense Intelligence Agency official Bruce Bechtol, Jr. told the paper that North Korea’s SLBM program is meant to give it the ability to strike the US, and to not have the strike be detected in advance.

“With an SLBM they get both,” said Bechtol. “The submarine can get the platform to launch the missile within range of the continental United States, Alaska, or Hawaii. Thus, once operational, this immediately brings key nodes in the United States within range of what would likely be a nuclear armed missile.”

He noted that once the KN-11 and mobile KN-08 “systems go operational, it potentially gives North Korea a dual threat for attacking the United States with nuclear or chemical weapons – a threat generated from difficult to detect mobile platforms on both land and sea.”

Obama is bringing the US to “tragedy”

A number of American officials responded sharply to the KN-11 test, placing the blame squarely on Obama’s shoulders.

“This missile, along with the KN-08, happened on Obama’s watch and nothing has been done,” one US intelligence official told the Washington Free Beacon.

Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton added his criticism, saying, “by utterly ignoring North Korea’s growing missile threats, Obama has allowed the threat of rogue state proliferators to fall out of the center of the national political debate.”

“This is a potential tragedy for the country,” Bolton warned.

Air Force Lt. Gen. (ret.) Thomas McInerney said that the KN-08 and KN-11 programs constitute “threats to the continental United States and have been developed under the Obama administration’s leadership.”

“Leading from behind is a failed strategy as evidenced by this very dangerous strategic threat to the continental United States of nuclear attack by a very unstable North Korean government,” said McInerney.

The general also spoke about Obama’s admission that the nuclear deal being formed with Iran will allow it to obtain a nuclear weapon in under 15 years if it doesn’t breach conditions and obtain it sooner, noting that the deal “puts the United States in the most dangerous threat of nuclear attack since the height of the Cold War but from multiple threats – North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran.”

Opponents of the nuclear deal being formulated with Iran ahead of a June 30 deadline have warned it follows in the footsteps of the failed deal sealed by then-President Bill Clinton with North Korea in 1994.

Despite the deal, North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006, just over ten years after the agreement.

Iranian UAVs In Africa

March 18, 2012: Sudanese rebels claimed to have recently shot down an Iranian Ababil UAV near the border with South Soudan. The Sudanese government eventually admitted it had lost another UAV, but said it went down do to component failure, not ground fire. Whatever the case, it is not the first time the Sudanese have lost one of their Iranian made UAVs. Several have been reported lost over the last three years.

English: An Iranian ababil made by me.

The Iranians have been developing UAVs since the 1980s. The ones used by Sudan are the Ababil. This is an 82 kg (183 pound) UAV with a 3.2 meter (ten foot) wing span, a payload of about 35 kg (77 pounds), a cruising speed of 290 kilometers an hour and an endurance of 90 minutes. The Ababil is known to operate as far as 150 kilometers from its ground controller. But it also has a guidance system that allows it to fly a pre-programmed route and then return to the control by its ground controllers for a landing (which is by parachute). The Ababil can carry a variety of day and night still and video cameras. There are many inexpensive and very capable cameras available on the open market, as is the equipment needed to transmit video and pictures back to the ground.

The Ababil is also used in Lebanon, where Iranian backed Hezbollah has received about a dozen of them. The Israelis feared that the low flying Ababils could come south carrying a load of nerve gas, or even just explosives. Using GPS guidance, such a UAV could hit targets very accurately. Moreover, there’s nothing exotic about UAV technology, at least for something like the Ababil. Iranian UAV development got a boost from American UAVs received in the 1970s (Firebee target drones.)

Iran also has a larger (174 kg/382 pounds) Mohajer IV UAV, the latest model of a line that began in the 1980s. The Mohajer II is about the same size as the Ababil.

From Strategy Page

Kim Jong-un’s first provocation—Why the U.S. should respond forcibly

In a less-than-shocking turn of events, North Korea has announced that it will launch a satellite into orbit next month. This launch, as with the last satellite launch, will amount to a ballistic missile test; United Nations Security Council resolutions have banned such launches. Better yet, Pyongyang has said it will launch the missile southward—potentially over South Korean territory. Such a move would be highly provocative, to say the least.

North Korea and weapons of mass destruction

Put simply, this test cannot be permitted, especially as it comes in the immediate wake of the (poorly considered) U.S. deal with the North: food aid in return for a number of North Korean concessions including a moratorium on long-range missile tests. The United States has already called “on North Korea to adhere to its international obligations, including all relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions.” Such admonishments are unlikely to be convincing.

Rather, if the United States wishes for North Korea to take it seriously—if Pyongyang is ever to take seriously the accords it agrees to—then Washington must demonstrate a seriousness of purpose that has too often been lacking. In this regard, President Obama has two options. He can order that U.S. forces strike the missile on the launch pad or, somewhat less provokingly, order that missile defense assets shoot it down after launch.

Some, of course, will argue that an American resort to military means so early in Kim Jong-un’s rule will irreparably sour a potentially more productive relationship than that with Kim Jong-il. But it is Kim who has broken faith only two weeks after the first U.S.-DPRK bilateral agreement. The relationship soured the moment Pyongyang announced the satellite launch.

Others will say that U.S. military action will enhance North Korea’s drive for nuclear weapons and make a spring nuclear test more likely. But the 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests followed U.N. Security Council condemnations of earlier missile tests. In other words, North Korea’s bar for conducting nuclear tests is already set fairly low. (Maybe we should just ignore the missile launch, chalk it up to Kim being Kim?)

Finally, some will counter that use of force is needlessly escalatory. But escalation is precisely what is needed. Unless the United States responds decisively to Kim Jong-un’s first provocation as the leader of North Korea, it will have reason to expect more of the same in the coming years.

English: From a mass game in North Korea, 2007.

If the United States responds militarily to the planned rocket launch, it will demonstrate to those around Kim that he cannot act without fear of consequence as his father could. It will help prevent “young Kim from establishing his bona fides as the new strongman in Pyongyang.” And given that the launch will likely result in the withholding of recently promised U.S. food aid, the new leader may face heightened civil discontent as well.

If, in the long term, the United States has an interest in a unified Korea under Seoul’s democratic leadership, then Washington must take steps to weaken Kim now. True, allowing Kim to further consolidate his rule may buy us short-term stability (I use the term loosely). But we’ve been watching that movie for the past few decades and we haven’t been enjoying it. Isn’t it time to change the DVD?

By Michael Mazza for The American