The Strategist

N. Korea is getting ready for another provocation

02/14/2017 - 13:39

North Korea is preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or to hold a new nuclear test. This was announced today by a member of intelligence committee of South Korean Parliament Lee Cheol-woo. The statement came amid condemnation of Pyongyang's actions by members of the UN Security Council. They threatened the North Korean leadership with "further substantive measures" in case of "the provocative actions are repeated."

John Pavelka
John Pavelka
"Intelligence suggests that the North may soon perform a strategic military provocation, such as launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, or an underground nuclear test," - South Korean MP Lee Cheol-woo said today.

He also described new details about a medium-range launch of missile Pukguksong-2 ("Polar Star-2"), which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, committed on February 12. The rocket fell into waters of the Sea of Japan.

Experts suggest three possible versions that would be a reason for the test: "checking restraint in inter-state relations" of new head of the White House Donald Trump, celebration of birthday of the previous leader Kim Jong Il and a response to offer of humanitarian aid from Washington.

According to Lee Cheol-woo, Pukguksong-2 missile can travel a distance of 2 thousand km. It reaches a top speed of Mach 8.5, being launched at an angle of 89 degrees. "If it was running on a flatter trajectory, it would be able to cover a much longer distance," - said the MP. In addition, he told that the new missile used solid fuel, which allows to prepare for launch in less than ten minutes. "It derails entire South Korean system of missile defense Kill Chain, which focuses on destruction of North Korean missiles during preparation for launch," - stressed Lee Cheol-woo.  

Statement by the South Korean deputy came shortly after UN Security Council’s extraordinary meeting initiated by the United States, Japan and South Korea. "The Security Council strongly condemned recent ballistic missile launches, carried out by North Korea on 11 February and 19 October. These launches violate international obligations imposed on the DPRK by the UN Security Council resolutions №1718, №1874, №2087, №2094 and №2270", - reads the meeting’s resolution. Members of the Security Council stressed that Pyongyang's actions contribute to "growing of tension in the region" and are "a flagrant violation of Security Council's repeated declarations".
Members of the Security Council threatened North Korean leadership with "further substantive measures" in case the "provocative actions" are repeated. In particular, the US permanent representative to the UN Nikki Haley noted that "it’s time to bring North Korea to justice, not only in words but in deeds." However, she did not clarify what exactly she meant.