North Korea ICBM could carry lures to confuse the US missile defense system, says an expert –

North Korea ICBM could carry lures to confuse the US missile defense system, says an expert


The advanced intercontinental ballistic missile launched by North Korea last week can reach any major city in the US. UU And it can disguise itself en route to its final destination.

The Hwasong-15 rocket could be equipped to transport decoys in an attempt to evade US missile interceptors such as the high altitude area defense system, Michael Elleman, senior missile defense researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said Fox News.

"One of the unfortunate implications of the recent test, because it is much larger in size, also has the ability to carry decoys that could further confuse our missile defense, increasing the likelihood that it can evade THAAD." said Elleman. "Whether North Korea has tried traps or countermeasures [is unclear] – but it has weight thrown in to carry simple lures."

  A view of the newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile The successful Hwasong-15 test is seen in this undated photo released by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on November 30, 2017. REUTERS / KCNA ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS CAN NOT VERIFY THIS IMAGE INDEPENDENTLY. SOUTH KOREA OUT. PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY THIRD PARTY REUTERS - RC19B2C34FD0

North Korea published photos of Hwasong-15 ICBM that proved to be much larger than its predecessor.

(KCNA via Reuters)

The decoys could be as simple as Mylar balloons that could fool the system's radars while the ICBM flies directly to the US. UU., Kingston Reif, of the Arms Control Association, told NPR.

The Hermit Kingdom published photos of the Hwasong-15, which it named the "greatest ICBM", a day after the impressive midnight launch on Wednesday. The photos revealed that the rocket was a significant improvement on its predecessor, the Hwasong-14, launched in July.

"Photographs from North Korea tell a number of things: first, it informs us that this was not a modified version of Hwasong-14, it's a completely new missile," Elleman said.


He added that the photos revealed a new mechanism to direct the first stage of the missile, which could be significant innovation.

  On November 29, 2017, the image provided by the government of North Korea shows the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, third from the left, and what the North Korean government calls Hwasong. -15 intercontinental ballistic missile, in North Korea. The independent journalists did not have access to cover the event described in this image distributed by the government of North Korea. The content of this image is the one provided and can not be verified independently. (Korean Central News Agency / Korea News Service via AP)

Kim Jong Un was photographed badyzing the new North Korean ICBM before last week's launch.

(KCNA via KNS)

"In short, it eliminates the amount of things that could go wrong," Elleman said. "Ensures greater reliability."

Meanwhile, the missile's size gives it twice the thrust capacity and allows it to carry a payload – a warhead or any system attached to a missile – that weighs at least 2,204 pounds, according to Elleman. 19659004] "North Korea can certainly make a warhead small enough to fall [between 1,543 pounds and 2,204 pounds]," he said. "This missile has the ability to attack anywhere in the US In principle."


North Korea states that it now has the ability to place a "super nuclear warhead" "At an ICBM that is capable of reaching US soil, it has led the United States to deploy THAAD anti-ballistic missile systems along the west coast," Reuters reported Saturday, citing congressman Mike Rogers, R-Ala. And Adam Smith, D-Wash.

  FILE PHOTO - An interceptor from the High Altitude Attack Area Zone (THAAD) is launched during a successful interception test, in this undated photo provided by the United States Department of Defense, Defense Agency of Missiles. Department of Defense of EE. US, Missile Defense Agency / Brochure through Reuters / File Photo Editors - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. IT IS NOT SOLD FOR COMMERCIALIZATION OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE FOR CUSTOMERS. - S1AETZMKZCAA

The anti-ballistic missile defense system THAAD was transported to South Korea as a defense against the North Korean ICBM.


The Pentagon told Fox News in a statement on Monday: "We have no additional information to provide."

Although it appears that Kim's rocket scientists have made great strides in the regime's missile program, there is still likely to be more evidence coming in the near future. Wednesday's launch did not survive re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, a feat that North Korea is working to perfect, a US official told Fox News.

As to when the next missile launch will take place, it could take weeks or months, Elleman said, depending on whether Kim wants to instigate the US. UU Or collect data.

"The fact that this was successful means that they can take a test on a normal trajectory sooner, they can do it in a matter of weeks or they can wait a certain amount of time … depending on the amount of data they need", said Elleman.

Lucas Tomlinson of Fox News contributed to this report.

  An interceptor from the High Altitude Zone (THAAD) is launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska during the THAAD Flight Experiment (FET) -01 in Kodiak, Alaska, USA. UU July 30, 2017. Photograph taken on July 30, 2017. Courtesy of Leah Garton / Missile Defense Agency / Brochure through REUTERS EDITORS OF ATTENTION: THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC18EA947540

A THAAD interceptor is launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska.


Katherine Lam is a last-minute digital news producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

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