Kim Jong-un has stepped up his ballistic missile programme as North Korea releases images of at least one new warhead.
The dictator reportedly told scientists to speed things up, as he visited the plant that makes solid-fuel engines for the country’s ballistic-missile program.
Photos of Kim’s tour of the so-called Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Science appear to show the designs of one or possibly two new missiles in the background.
North Korea’s leader is supposedly stepping up the production of rocket engines and nosecones, state media reports.
Kim Jong-un stands with his back to a new design of a missile which is displayed on a wall
Off his rocker-t: Concept diagrams of new missiles were seen behind Kim Jong Un while he visited a plant that makes solid-fuel engines for the country’s ballistic-missile program
Sun’s out, guns out: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un studies what appears to be a missile during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science
One of the photos clearly showed a diagram for a missile called ‘Pukguksong-3,’ which appears to be the latest in its Pukguksong, or Polaris, series.
The other was harder to discern, though it carried a ‘Hwasong,’ or Mars, designation name.
The diagram suggests it might be designed to fly farther and to be launched from protective canisters, which allow missiles to be transported more easily and makes them more difficult to locate and destroy in advance.
Solid-fuel engines add to that difficulty because they allow for quicker launches than liquid-fuel missiles.
Kim was briefed about the process of manufacturing intercontinental ballistic missile warhead tips and solid-fuel rocket engine during his tour institute, the North’s official KCNA news agency said.
Heading on: The leader is shown some of the weapons produced at the Institute
This is how:LKim was riefed about the process of manufacturing intercontinental ballistic missile warhead tips
Kim reportedly told scientists to speed things up in terms of manufacturing intercontinental ballistic missile warhead tips and solid-fuel rocket engine
Listen up: The rotund dictator instructed the institute to produce more weapons
It is not yet known whether North Korea has mastered the technology needed to ensure a ballistic missile warhead can re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere
‘He instructed the institute to produce more solid-fuel rocket engines and rocket warhead tips by further expanding engine production process and the production capacity of rocket warhead tips and engine jets by carbon/carbon compound material,’ KCNA said.
TRUMP: HE’S STARTING TO RESPECT THE U.S.
U.S. President Donald Trump has claimed his aggressive stance on North Korea has worked and its leader Kim Jong-un has started to ‘respect him’.
‘Some people said it was too strong. It’s not strong enough,’ he told a gathering of thousands of supporters at a campaign style rally in Phoenix, Arizona.
‘But Kim Jong-Un, I respect the fact that I believe he is starting to respect us. I respect that fact very much.’
His Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said peaceful talks between the nations were now possible ‘in the near future’ and welcomed the restraint the North had showed in its weapons program.
He said: ‘We have had no missile launches or provocative acts on the part of North Korea since the unanimous adoption of the UN Security Council resolution.
North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and dozens of missile tests since the start of last year, significantly raising tensions on the heavily militarised Korean peninsula.
Two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles in July resulted in a new round of tougher global sanctions.
The last missile test on July 28 put the U.S. mainland in range, prompting heated exchanges that raised fears of a new conflict on the peninsula.
The KCNA report said Kim had given ‘special thanks and special bonus’ to officials of the institute, calling them heroes.
A photograph showed Kim in a grey pinstriped suit, smiling before a large flow chart that described some kind of manufacturing process.
Questions remain whether the North has mastered the technology needed to ensure a ballistic missile warhead survives the intense heat generated by re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
But it says it has done so, and the KCNA report said the nosecones and engine jets were made of ‘carbon/carbon compound material’.
The manufacturing process included carbon fibre weaving, chemical deposition and high pressure liquid deposition, it added.