Seoul Says North Korea Didn’t Test Hwasong-17 ICBM After All
North Korea claims that it successfully tested its new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which first appeared in a military parade in October 2020, on March 24, eight days after another suspected ballistic missile blew up immediately after liftoff.
However, the South Korean Defense Ministry says what the North tested on March 24 was not the Hwasong-17, but the Hwasong-15.
In a closed briefing to the National Assembly, the Defense Ministry reported to lawmakers that the missile launched on March 24 seems more like the Hwasong-15 than the Hwasong-17 based on the ministry’s analysis of the performance of the missile and video footage released by the North’s state media on March 25.
In the heavily edited video released by the North’s state media a day after its ICBM test, the missile launch was conducted under clear skies. However, the Sunan area, near Pyongyang, was cloudy on March 24. In this context, Seoul suspects that the missile launch captured in the video might be scenes from the failed missile test on March 16.
Also, the directions of the shadows in the video seem to suggest the footage was taken in the morning. The launch on March 24 was taken in the afternoon; the failed missile test on March 16 was conducted in the morning.
Korean Peninsula Tensions Escalate Amid a Return to Old School Policies
Introduction: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin met his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken on Monday in Washington, D.C. The meeting came three weeks after a summit meeting in Seoul between […]
North Korea Threats Make Engaging Quad a Risk Worth Taking for South Korea
Introduction: For much of the past decade, South Korea was inclined to play a balancing act between the U.S. and China while keeping its foreign policy energy primarily focused on […]
What North Korea Thinks About the Russia-Ukraine War
Introduction: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised many new security concerns not only for Europe, but also for the rest of the world. In Northeast Asia, Russia’s proximity and strategic […]
South Korea’s Foreign Policy in Changing Times: Reversing Course?
Abstract: The tragedy currently unfolding in Ukraine may be a symptom of new dynamics in global geopolitics. The changing balance of power epitomized by the rise of China and the […]
Yoon’s Plan to Ditch Strategic Ambiguity Will Test US-ROK Alliance, DPRK Policy
Introduction: While Yoon has questioned the Moon administration’s policy of strategic ambiguity with regard to the U.S.-China rivalry, the new South Korean President will likely find it difficult to abandon […]
What to Expect From Yoon Suk-yeol’s Policy on North Korea
Introduction: The election of Yoon Suk-yeol, the candidate of the conservative People Power Party, in South Korea’s presidential election on March 9 was an explicit signal for countries involved in […]