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Home / World / North Korea's latest rocket resembles advanced Russian design: NPR

North Korea's latest rocket resembles advanced Russian design: NPR



North Korea's newest short-range missile, which was tested on May 4, resembles the Russian rocket Iskander. North Korea describes it as a "tactical guided weapon".

KCNA / Reuters


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KCNA / Reuters

North Korea's latest short-range missile, which was tested on May 4, is similar to the Russian Iskander rocket. North Korea describes it as a "tactically guided weapon".

KCNA / Reuters

North Korea's latest rocket has a striking resemblance to an advanced Russian design, according to experts who analyzed images of a gun test on Saturday morning .

The missile, called North Korea's "tactically routed weapon", seems superficially almost identical to the Russian Iskander rocket – a high-precision short-range weapon capable of hitting targets from over 150 miles away.

] Such a system has the potential to attack missile defense in South Korea and further escalate tensions in the region, as well as showing that North Korea is developing new weapon systems, even though President Trump is optimistic with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. [19659009] "This Iskander-style rocket is one thing we need to worry about," says Melissa Hanham, a weapons expert at One Earth Future.

North Korea tested the weapon on May 4 as part of a "strike exercise" that includes the use of other weapons such as rocket artillery.It was the first published test of a rocket, be In April 2018, North Korea declared a voluntary moratorium on intercontinental long-range missile testing. The new rocket seems to be short range, which means it will not violate the moratorium.

President Trump on Twitter downplayed the test. "I believe that Kim Jong Un fully recognizes North Korea's great economic potential and will do nothing to disturb or end it," tweeted .

Still, the new rocket seems to be more advanced than some of North Korea's earlier designs. Unlike the long-range missiles of the north, this new short-range missile seems solid, says Hanham. That is, the fuel is already in the rocket before it leaves its fortified shelter. It can start quickly with very little warning, Hanham explains.

The Russian Iskander rocket pictured here is a high-precision, short-range weapon that can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.

Yuri Smityuk / TASS about Getty Images


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Yuri Smityuk / TASS via Getty Images

The Russian Iskander rocket pictured here is a high-precision, short-range weapon capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads.

Yuri Smityuk / TASS about Getty Images

If it's an Iskander-like rocket, this new weapon will fly to heights, making it difficult to intercept, said Michael Elleman, a physicist and senior missile defense fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. The Iskander flies at a height of about 30 miles, says Elleman, too high for US Patriot missiles, but too low for THAAD, a system that can intercept long-range missiles.