North Korea has announced that it successfully tested a new, smaller submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM, on Tuesday. State media claimed the missile—launched from the same submarine from which Pyongyang tested its first Pukguksong-1 SLBM in August 2016—has “advanced control guidance technologies, including flank mobility and gliding skip mobility,” designed to make it harder to track and intercept. The name of the submarine used for the launch—the “8.24 Yongung”—also seems noteworthy, as a reflection of the importance Pyongyang puts on this vessel: It means “hero” and apparently signifies the Aug. 24 date of the 2016 SLBM launch.
Clearly, the regime has been checking off Kim’s wish list that he disclosed at the 8th Party Congress in January, which included many of the weapon systems that were on display last week.
The test is another sign that Pyongyang is trying to secure a second-strike capability—the ability to respond to a nuclear attack with its own nuclear weapons. The aim would be to protect the regime and perhaps even cause Washington to hesitate in defending Seoul in the event of an attack, for fear of possible North Korean SLBM strikes.
The launch came on the heels of an extravagant display of force the previous week. Pyongyang showed off some of its new weapons and military hardware on Oct. 11, to mark the 76th anniversary of its ruling Workers’ Party the day before. It’s a common ritual in the insular one-party state, but this year, the format was different. For the first time, new additions to the country’s arsenal were on display at a museum-style exhibition rather than a military parade or other major celebration.
Read the full article from World Politics Review.
More from CNAS
Congressional TestimonyDuyeon Kim testifies before European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs
Chairman McAllister, Vice Chairs, DKOR Chairman Mandl, and distinguished Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the European Parliament, thank you for the opportunity...
By Dr. Duyeon Kim
CommentaryChina’s New Land Borders Law Is a Nightmare for North Korean Refugees
A combination of high-level pressure from foreign governments and steady support for grassroots refugee resettlement organizations and programs is the most practical way to as...
By Jason Bartlett
CommentaryUnpacking Claims of Secret North Korean Intelligence Operations
Cyberspace remains a viable domain for infiltration and information collection for highly trained North Korean agents....
By Jason Bartlett
Executive Summary China and North Korea pose intertwined challenges for U.S. and allied policy. The Korean Peninsula constitutes just one area among many in U.S.-China relatio...
By Jacob Stokes