Kim Jong-un Demands More “Military Muscle”

Kim Jong-un Demands More

( – North Korea’s regime could be planning to expand its military after dictator Kim Jong-un called on his country’s scientists to develop new weapons.

On January 12, the reclusive Stalinist regime in North Korea tested what it claims is a new hypersonic missile. Ruler Kim Jong-un, who observed the test, urged his research teams to “further accelerate the efforts” to strengthen the country’s strategic forces.

Experts on the North Korean regime have highlighted the fact Kim attended this test. It’s the first time he’s personally shown up for a weapons test in nearly two years. Analyst Ankit Panda, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, speculated this shows Kim is particularly interested in the hypersonic missile program.

Hypersonic missiles fly at a speed of Mach 5 or higher, which potentially makes them very hard to stop: They’re so fast there isn’t a lot of warning time, and most interceptor missiles aren’t fast enough to engage them except from head-on. Russia and China are also experimenting with hypersonic weapons as a counter to US aircraft carriers.

There are some limitations with the technology – so far, most guidance systems aren’t very accurate at hypersonic speeds – but if North Korea could fit a nuclear warhead to a hypersonic cruise missile it would be a serious threat to US territories in the Pacific and even the West Coast of the US.

North Korea is a rogue state with an irrational, authoritarian regime, and it regularly terrorizes its neighbors with ballistic missile tests. Several of those neighbors are US allies. If Kim has a new strategic weapons system in his toolbox, it’s cause for serious concern.

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