North Korea Tests New IRBM

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On May 14, North Korea test-fired a new intermediate range missile, the Hwasong-12. The missile flew on a lofted trajectory a distance of 787 kilometers, to an altitude of 2,111 kilometers. It is estimated that the Hwasong-12 could have a maximum range of up to 4,500 kilomters. The missile was transported on a vehicle previously associated with the Musudan IRBM, but was launched from a “stool,” rather than from the vehicle itself.

North Korea’s state news agency said that the missile is able to carry a “heavy” nuclear payload, yet this capability remains unproven. Aerospace engineer and missile expert John Schilling stated that the Hwasong-12 test “represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile.”