Technology for missiles: North Korea tests solid fuel engine

Status: 12/16/2022 10:27 am

According to experts, rockets powered by solid fuel can launch faster and more mobile. North Korea says it has tested the technology. Ruler Kim was satisfied – South Korea remains concerned.

North Korea says it is developing solid fuel technology for its missile program. According to the state news agency KCNA, quoted by South Korean media, the country has tested a high-thrust solid-fuel engine. According to experts, this enables a faster and more mobile launch of ballistic missiles.

The test was overseen by head of state Kim Jong Un, according to KCNA, and took place Thursday at North Korea’s Sohae satellite launch site. It was “the first test of its kind” in the country. Kim praised the scientists and technicians involved. According to the report, he also expressed the expectation that the new weapon would be built “in the shortest possible time”.

Footage provided by North Korea’s state-run news agency shows a solid-fuel motor being tested at the Sohae satellite launch site.

Image: dpa

Expert: Technology makes North Korea more dangerous

According to experts, the test was apparently aimed at developing a solid-fuel ICBM with higher thrust that could reach the mainland United States. At a Labor Party congress last year, ruler Kim promised such weapon systems.

“Compared to liquid-propellant weapons, solid-fuel missiles are more mobile, quicker to launch and easier to conceal, making them more useful during a conflict,” quoted Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Ewha University in Seoul, according to Reuters. “Once the technology is operational, it will make North Korea’s nuclear forces more versatile, more survivable and more dangerous.”

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has expressed concern about North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear and missile programs. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, is currently in Seoul for talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear program.

In recent months, North Korea has tested a large number of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in rapid succession, including in November a Hwasong-17 ICBM capable of carrying multiple warheads.

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