North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KJU Attends Ballistic Missile Test

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

KJU’s last observed appearance was his visit to Kangdong Precision Machine Plant

Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) observed and guided a test of a surface-to-surface ballistic missile identified as Pukgukso’ng-2 on the morning of February 12 (Sunday).  Also in attendance were Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Department Senior Deputy Director Ri Pyong Chol (Ri Pyo’ng-ch’o’l), and WPK deputy department directors Kim Jong Sik (Kim Cho’ng-sik), Jang Chang Ha (Chang Chang-ha) and Jong Sung Il (Cho’ng Su’ng-il).

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

According to state media reportafe Jong Un has “set forth the task of developing the weapon system into surface-to-surface ballistic missiles with extended firing range on the basis of the success made in the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test fire held in August last year [2016].  Jong Un previously had listened to a report on “the development of Pukkukso’ng-2 [Pukguksong], set the date of the test-fire of the missile and personally guided the preparations for it on the spot.”

Prior to the missile test, Jong Un looked “round the caterpillar self-propelled missile launching truck produced by workers in the munitions industry by their own efforts, technology and wisdom.”  At the observation spot he was briefed “in detail for the test fire of Pukkukso’ng-2 and gave the order to launch it.”

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

According to KCNA the”test-fire proved the reliability and security of the surface launch system and starting feature of the high thrust solid fuel-powered engine and reconfirmed the guidance and control features of ballistic missile during its active flight and working feature of high thrust solid fuel- powered engines and those of separation at the stages.  It also verified the position control and guidance in the middle section and section of re-entry after the separation of the improved warhead of the missile which can be tipped with a nuclear warhead, the feature of evading interception, etc. The test-fire helped test and round off the mobility and operation of the new type missile launching truck in the worst surface condition and finally confirm its technological specifications through ballistic missile launch.  The test-fire was conducted by the high-angle launching method instead of firing range, taking the security of the neighboring countries into consideration.”

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

Jong Un remarked that the missile is “the Korean style advantageous weapon system providing convenience in operation and ensuring speed in striking and a Chuch’e-missile, Chuch’e-weapon in name and reality as the launching truck and ballistic missile were designed and manufactured and fired by the indigenous wisdom, efforts and technology 100 percent” and he “expressed great satisfaction over the possession of another powerful nuclear attack means which adds to the tremendous might of the country.”  Now our rocket industry has radically turned into high thrust solid fuel-powered engine from liquid fuel rocket engine and rapidly developed into a development- and creation-oriented industry, not just copying samples.”

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

[Photo: Rodong Sinmun]

Jong Un added that “thanks to the development of the new strategic weapon system, our People’s Army is capable of performing its strategic duties most accurate and rapidly in any space–under waters or on the land.”  After the test firing, Jong Un had photos taken with the Second Academy of Natural Sciences and Second Economy Commission scientists and technicians, along with Korean People’s Army service members, who participated in the missile test.

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