North Korea is known to have begun work on an atomic bomb as early as 1989. A. Q. Khan, the Pakistani expert on uranium enrichment, visited North Korea several times in the early 1990's. He claimed that North Korea's nuclear programme was already advanced at this stage. North Korea has a policy adopted after the end of the Korean War in 1953 called "Songun" which includes a "military first" doctrine. All nuclear power infrastructure has military application first, civilian application second.
The Soviet Union began training North Korean scientists and engineers to initiate a nuclear programme in 1956, and the two countries signed a nuclear cooperation agreement in 1959. It is known that North Korea began extracting plutonium from reactors for nuclear bombs in 1989, possibly as early as 1965 when their IRT-2000 light water reactor at Yongbyon achieved a power rating of 2MW(thermal). It was completed in 1962, and they were using it for fission experiments since 1963. In 1962 North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Song Chol wrote to the USSR Ambassador, “who can impose such a [non proliferation] treaty on countries that do not have nuclear weapons, but are perhaps successfully working in that direction.”
The IRT-2000 reactor reached a 4MW(thermal) power rating in 1974. North Korea constructed a factory at Yongbyon to refine yellowcake and produce fuel for reactors in 1980. They began operating a reprocessing plant used to separate plutonium from spent nuclear fuel at Yongbon in 1984. Also in 1984, North Korea completed construction of a 5 MWe carbon dioxide gas-cooled, graphite-moderated nuclear reactor for plutonium production and began construction of a 50MWe gas-cooled, graphite-moderated nuclear reactor at Yongbyon and a 200MWe gas-cooled, graphite-moderated nuclear reactor at Taechon. If operating at full power for a majority of the year the 5MWe reactor could produce 7.5 kg of weapons grade plutonium annually. Normally 5 kg is needed for a bomb, but North Korea can probably use less given their implosion scheme. The IRT-2000 reactor was upgraded to 8 MW in 1987. They began operating a 20MeV cyclotron in 1990. Cyclotrons are what Saddam Hussein was using to enrich uranium. Iraq decided to use cyclotrons instead of more economic and efficient methods like centrifuges because they were easier to build, with fewer technical challenges, and their components were not subject to export controls. North Korea conducted 70–80 high-explosive implosion tests at Yongbyon in 1990.
From 1993-1994 North Korea provided Pakistan with the Rodong missile and production technology in exchange for gas centrifuge technology. The P-1 is a first generation centrifuge with an aluminium alloy rotor. The P-2 centrifuge is fitted with a maraging steel rotor. The P-2 centrifuge is more powerful and rotates faster, thereby more than doubling the uranium throughput per machine relative to the P-1 centrifuge. North Koreans were seen frequently at Khan Research Laboratories. Dr. Khan supplied them with twenty P-1 centrifuges, four P-2 centrifuges, flowmetres, and control devices so that they could gain experience in the operation of centrifuges, as well as the necessary computer software. In 1998 US spy satellite imagery revealed the existence of an underground nuclear facility at Kumchang-ri. The North Koreans have been operating thousands of P-2 uranium enrichment centrifuges since before the year 2000. In 2000 the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization(United States, Japan, and South Korea) began construction of two 1,000 MWe light water reactors at Kumho in accordance with the Agreed Framework but construction was halted in 2003. In 2002 Kang Sok-Ju, North Korea's deputy foreign minister, admitted that the uranium enrichment programme existed. In 2006 former Secretary of State James Baker revealed that North Korea had at least one nuclear bomb when he was Secretary of State (1989-1992). In late 2009, A.Q. Khan stated that North Korea may have been enriching uranium on a small scale by 2002, using 'maybe 3,000 or even more' centrifuges, and that Pakistan helped the country with vital machinery, drawings, and technical advice for at least six years. In November 2010 a delegation from Stanford University led by Professor Siegfried Hecker, formerly the Head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, visted the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre. He was shown early construction of a 25–30 MWe light water reactor and a centrifuge hall with six cascades comprised of 2,000 P-2 centrifuges. In 2013 the 25-30MWe light water reactor was completed. In 2015 the uranium enrichment plant at Yongbyon was upgraded with another centrifuge hall identical to the one seen by Hecker; that means at least 4,000 P-2 centrifuges and an unknown number of P-1 centrifuges have been operated by North Korea. By 2017 Iran was enriching uranium with the IR-8 centrifuge. These centrifuges enrich uranium at 20 times the rate of the P-1. North Korea is highly likely to be using this centrifuge design. In 2018 North Korea began testing of the 25-30MWe light water nuclear reactor.
To sum up, North Korea is now operating an 8MWth light water reactor, a 5MWe gas-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor, and a 25-30MWe light water nuclear reactor, with 50MWe and 200MWe gas-cooled, graphite moderated reactors still under construction. They are also enriching uranium with thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of centrifuges including the IR-8. This is what is known. North Korea is hiding much more. I estimate that North Korea has produced 560-580 kilograms of Pu-239 and 2,000-2,250 kilograms of U-235. This could be a very conservative estimate. This is enough for about 240 nuclear fission bombs or about 100 hydrogen bombs and 20 uranium fission bombs from the left over uranium. It depends on what kind of bombs they build. If the DPRK doesn't use all of their fissionable material for hydrogen bombs this would allow for a much more diverse arsenal including EMP and Super EMP bombs on ballistic missiles, battlefield nuclear artillery, battlefield air-dropped and ballistic missile fission bombs, atomic demolition munitions, nuclear torpedoes, nuclear mines, neutron bombs, suicide infiltration devices, and cobalt-59, protactinium-231 doomsday bombs. Neutron bombardment of Cobalt-59 produces radioactive Cobalt-60 which has a half life of 5.2714 years and emits gamma rays as it decays. Neutron bombardment of protactinium-231 (THORIUM G) produces protactinium-232 which decays into uranium-232. Uranium-232 has a half life of 68.9 years. It's decay chain quickly produces gamma emitting isotopes. North Korea has the technology and mindset to implement a dead man's switch system similar to Perimeter. North Korea is the only country conducting nuclear tests. The United States last conducted a nuclear test in 1992. The only ICBM used by the United States, the LGM-30G Minuteman 3, was produced in 1970 although the guidance systems and solid rocket fuel have been upgraded. There are 399 of these missiles. By the end of 2014 the Obama administration completed de-MIRVing from three W-78 MIRVs to one W-87 MIRV for all missiles, with the original W-78 warheads put in storage for possible future re-MIRVing. The W-87 warhead has a yield of 300 kilotons with the option to upgrade to 475 kilotons by using more U-235 in the fusion tamper. Up until June, 2017, these missiles were launched with software contained on the old, large, 8-inch floppy discs. It was only when Donald Trump became President that this deficiency of the Minuteman III was upgraded. Korea's missiles and nuclear warheads are designed with state of the art materials and microelectronic components. North Korean spies have been infiltrating the US, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, and South Korean militaries, defence, nuclear power, and computer and electronics industries since the 1950's. Their strategies and tactics are Soviet in nature. North Korea is not the backward country that it is portrayed as in the US media. Since the CIA publicly estimates that North Korea has 60 warheads, if I am right, they can hide away up to 180 warheads and turn over 60 while claiming to have completely denuclearized.
This is what a war between the US and North Korea could look like. This video was made in the 1980's. There have been major reductions in the stockpile since then. The US only has 399 Minuteman 3 missiles as opposed to the original 1,000. The US once had over 700 B-52's but now only has 75, along with 60 B-1B's, and 20 B-2's, which both carry less weapons than the B-52.
This bomb has a 122-point implosion system based on a dodecahedron (12 sides). Each side in a dodecahedron is a pentagon. Within each pentagon is a circle surrounded by 5 circles. Surrounding these 6 circles is half a circle at each edge and one third of a circle at each corner. So each pentagon has [6 + 5/2 + 5/3] circles. The entire bomb has (12 x [6 + 5/2 + 5/3]) = 122 circles. The more explosive lenses you have, the more efficient the compression, and the smaller the thickness of your lenses. This means that the bomb is smaller, and you can use less fissile material. Fat Man (Nagasaki) had a 32-point implosion system, a soccer ball, which has 12 pentagons, 20 hexagons, and 60 vertices(corners). Subsequent designs improved on this by using a 92-point implosion system. A 92-sided ball is created by taking a soccer ball and putting hexagons centred at each of the 60 vertices; 32+60=92. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is, as far as I know, the only country to have used more than 92 lenses in a bomb, 122 in this case. Translation: This is a good bomb. Estimates on how many bombs they can produce should focus on the high end since they need less fissile material for a bomb. Soon after developing the 92-point implosion system the US developed two-point linear implosion and two-point hollow pit implosion, reducing the size and complexity of bombs. This should be the next step for the DPRK if they haven't already achieved it.
This is a Goldberg Polyhedron with T=12. The number of vertices is 20T. The number of edges is 30T. The number of faces is 10T+2. The number of faces by type is 12 pentagons and 10(T-1) hexagons. So it has 240 vertices, 360 edges, and 122 faces with 12 being pentagons and 110 being hexagons. It looks like there are less faces than there actually are. This is a class II polyedron with T =12. Because you will always see less than half of a sphere no matter the distance from the sphere, counting the number of polygons on a spherical polyhedron is not simple. You cannot simply count what you see and multiply by two. The farther away the viewer is from the sphere, the more area of the hemisphere you can see. You would have to be infinitely far away from a sphere to see an entire hemisphere at which point the sphere would appear to have a size of zero, meaning you can no longer see it.
One way to construct a 122-sided spherical solid if you start with a soccer ball.
The easiest way to construct a 122-sided spherical solid is if you start with a spherical dodecahedron(12 sides). The distance from the centre to the vertex of each of the twelve pentagons of the dodecahedron is four radii, or two diameters, of the embedded circles if the embedded circles are flush with the twelve smaller pentagons(green) of the 122-sided sphere. Three of the sides of the hexagon(blue) at the vertex of the pentagon of the dodecahedron are flush with its embedded circle. This gives you the shape of the three types of hexagons and thus all 122 polygons. Trigonometry is not needed. The hardest part is constructing the original dodecahedron. MATHS AREN'T EVEN NEEDED AFTER THAT. All you have to do is draw three circles(red) of equal size with one at the centre of the pentagon of the dodecahedron, one at the vertex, and one in between them such that they are flush. The circle(green) on the edge of the dodecahedron's pentagon is halfway between the two circles at the vertices. You can then draw the polygons around the circles with small pentagon(green) rotated 180 degrees from the dodecahedron's pentagon.
This image was intentionally blurred by the DPRK. The warhead is called 전투8-지(Combat 8), which would be called Mark 8 in an American naming system. The warhead has a skirt that creates some drag, which, along with a spin mechanism, helps stabilize it. As the warheads for each missile design encounter more speed and physical stresses from re-entry, the shape approaches a cone, with an ICBM warhead being a cone. Most of North Korea's warheads for the various missile types were designed to contain the fission bomb. Since the hydrogen bomb design has a smaller diameter than the fission bomb, most of North Korea's warheads can hold the hydrogen bomb. The only limiting factor is the length. The hydrogen bomb should be oriented in such a way as to have the heaviest part, the smaller fission-fusion secondary, toward the tip.
As you can see from the first graphic, 14.1 MeV neutrons produced by deuterium-tritium fusion can fission U-238. You can also see from the blue band on the right that fission produces neutrons that are high energy fast neutrons but only energetic enough to fission U-238 with a small probability, cross section. U-238, therefor, cannot sustain a fission chain reaction. The mean free path of neutrons in plutonium is greater than the radius of the plutonium core. That means the fast neutrons produced by the deuterium-tritium boosting at the centre more often than not don't encounter a nucleus until they have traveled into the U-238 tamper that surrounds the core in a normal non EMP-enhanced bomb. There they can fission U-238. So some of the fast neutrons from the DT boosting fission plutonium directly and some fission U-238 in the tamper surrounding the core, producing more neutrons. You can see from the second graphic that fissioning U-238 from an incident 14.1 MeV neutron from DT fusion produces 4 neutrons on average. This applies to U-235 as well. Plutonium seems to produce closer to 4.5 neutrons from a 14.1 MeV incident neutron. The fission of Pu-239 from fission produced neutrons produces on average 2.9 neutrons. The fission of U-235 from fission produced neutrons produces on average 2.5 neutrons. The presence of the beryllium reflector surrounding the U-238 tamper reflects neutrons back toward the core, enhancing the chain reaction. Beryllium is a good reflector because it tends not to react with neutrons, and the space between its nuclei is small because its electron radius is small since it only has 4 protons.
One possible design that nobody ever talks about that Korea could have is the sloika, «слойка» (РДС-6с), which was the fourth nuclear bomb the Soviet Union tested, RDS-6s. The Soviet Union's first bomb and probably this fourth bomb did not have two types of explosives in the explosive lens system. Where the US design would have a slower explosive the Soviet Union used an inert material to shape the shock wave. The fission core was surrounded by three layers of uranium 238 with two layers of lithium-6 deuteride in between. The inner layer of lithium deuteride contained 100 grams of lithium tritide to enhance the reaction. Uranium 238 is a neutron reflector and lithium deuteride a neutron moderator. Tritium is produced from moderated neutron capture of the lithium-6. Deuterium-tritium fusion occurs in the sandwiched layers, and the fast neutrons that this produces fissions some of the uranium 238. Joe 4, as the bomb was called in the West, had a fusion percentage of 15 to 20% resulting in a 400 kiloton yield mostly from fast fission of uranium 238. So the fusion yield is 1/5 of 400 kt which is 80 kt. If the fissile core yield is 20 kt, that means 300 kt or 75% of the yield is from the fissioning of the normally nonfissile U-238, depleted uranium. This design was modified by removing the tritium in the RDS-27 test. This bomb had a yield of 250 kilotons. The Sloika has been denigrated a lot since it is not considered a true hydrogen bomb and the fusion yield is smaller and can't be scaled up. I like this design. It is a lot simpler than the Teller-Ulam configuration, and 250 kilotons is a large yield. Why wouldn't Korea build this bomb? You are turning a 20 kiloton bomb into a 250 kiloton bomb, and no additional fissile material is necessary; just lithium deuteride and depleted uranium. The sloika may in fact be the Super EMP design. This depends on what kind of initial gamma pulse it produces. Most of the yield of the sloika, about 75%, comes from fission of the depleted uranium layers. This should produce gammas around the same energy as that produced by the fissioning of U-235 and Pu-239. You are getting a lot of fission with only one critical mass. I think it may work as a super emp because you don't have the problem with the H-bomb where the primary is separate and already producing a gamma pulse before the secondary fully ignites. The gammas from a detonating sloika should only be able to escape when the system has expanded and fully detonated.
North Korea tested a two stage hydrogen bomb at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. The primary in a hydrogen bomb has the sole purpose of detonating the secondary. These usually don't have a uranium tamper to enhance the yield of the primary, just a beryllium reflector. That is why the primary is smaller than a fission bomb. I think a uranium tamper could possibly impede the energy transfer to the secondary. One method to variable yield is changing the amount of deuterium-tritium gas in the primary, increasing its yield: output of gammas and neutrons, which increases the yield of the secondary. The primary probably looks like a smaller version of the atomic bomb. It is the larger round section. When they tested this bomb it produced an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude according to Russian seismologists, which the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said produced the largest ever seismic signal for a nuclear test. The blast may have been too large for an underground test because eight minutes later a 4.1 magnitude event was detected which is believed to be a burst fracture of the surrounding rock; the seismic signal did not correlate with a nuclear test, earthquake, crater or tunnel collapse, or landslide. A 6.4 earthquake corresponds to a 4 megaton yield. A 6.0 earthquake corresponds to a 1 megaton yield. A 4.0 earthquake corresponds to a 1 kiloton yield. Earthquake magnitudes are dependent on the type of rock in which the earthquake occurs. So the exact yield of the bomb is not known, but it is definitely in the megaton range. It's possible they designed it for exactly one megaton, and the actual yield was one megaton, or they could have gotten a surprisingly larger yield, which has happened in some nuclear tests. I don't think they were prepared for the damage to the mountain or surrounding villages. The thermonuclear warhead is designed to fit in a conical MIRV pictured in the diagram in the background. It looks like they can only fit one of their hydrogen bomb MIRVs in the shroud of the Hwasong-14, with some space left over, which means more nuke and missile tests. The silvery white metal that encases the two stages could be titanium or aluminium with an interior layer of beryllium or depleted uranium as the radiation case. It reflects neutrons and x-rays that the material in the radiation channel, usually styrofoam (polystyrene with pentane gas), converts from the gamma rays produced by the primary nuclear explosion. It also produces x-rays itself from the bremsstrahlung effect. The resulting plasma and x-rays ablate(vaporize) the outer surface of the secondary, resulting in uniform inward thrust(compression) and a super-heated, super-compressed sandwich of fission and fusion fuel. This results in a deuterium-tritium thermonuclear burn sandwiched inside the fissioning secondary fission fuel. Fast neutrons produced from the fusion burn also fission some of the atoms in a depleted uranium case, increasing the yield. The cylinder behind the bomb possibly contains the power supply, firing circuits and other electronics, and possibly deuterium-tritium gas for variable yield and may be encased in uranium or some other material, hardening it against EMP, gammas, and neutrons from antimissiles and nearby nuclear explosions. The device on top of the cylinder may be an inertial or star navigation device, electronic countermeasures, or a pump for deuterium-tritium gas possibly stored in the cylinder. An injector port for deuterium-tritium gas, allowing for variable yield, is visible in the pictures. Korea releases pictures of their weapons to prove to the American government that their weapons are real. Many people believe the pictures Korea releases are fakes because they have never seen the real thing since the American government classifies images of nuclear bombs. Another reason people, including some North Korea "experts", think their paraded missiles and nuclear bomb footage are fakes is because they have been brainwashed by Western propaganda. There is no evidence that North Korea has ever paraded a fake missile or any other weapon system. These pictures are also helping other nations that may want to develop thermonuclear weapons.
Earthquake magnitudes are related to nuclear yields according to the equation: , where mTNT is the yield equivalent in mega metric tons of TNT.
From a UCLA website (which has now been taken down):
The Richter Earthquake Magnitude Scale, which was perfected by Charles Richter of Cal Tech in 1935, has always been misleading for people who are not used to thinking logarithmically. In this case, it's log-10: every whole position is 10 times greater than the one before. Therefore, if 4.0 is taken to be the equivalent of 10 units, 5.0 is 100.
But according to a new way of measuring earthquakes, based on the seismic "moment of force," translated to the equivalent energy released by an explosion of TNT, the Richter Scale is converted from a log-10 to a 2/3 log-10 scale. In this scale, every positional increase, e.g. Richter 4.0 to 5.0, goes up by a factor of 31.62, which we can round to 32. Thus, R 2.0 corresponds to the detonation of 1 ton of TNT, R 3.0 = 32t, R 4.0 = 1000t, R 5.0 = 32,000t, 6.0 = 1,000,000t, 7.0 = 32,000,000t, and so on. This "Moment Magnitude" is represented by Mw. The "w", introduced by Hiroo Kanamori in 1977, presumably stands for "work"; it refers to "elastic strain energy." The formula used here is: Tonnage = 10(1.5R-3).
The Kelly Kiloton Index (KKI), formulated in 2006 by H. A. Kelly of UCLA, in consultation with Geoffrey Mess of the UCLA Math Department, aims at giving a "realistic" picture of earthquake energy. It uses the kiloton (= 1000 metric tons = 2,200,000 lbs) as the basic unit. Here is the KKI range for Richter 6.0 to 6.9 and for 7.0 to 7.9:
Full detonation of this bomb goes really fast. If the bomb is 1.4 m in length, the primary centre to secondary centre is about 0.8 m in length. Given that the speed of light is 300,000,000 metres/second and the mean fission neutron has an energy of 2MeV, which means it travels at 14,000,000 metres/second or 6.7% the speed of light; photons reach the midpoint of the secondary 2.67 nanoseconds after detonation of the primary, and neutrons reach the midpoint of the secondary in 57.1 nanoseconds. So you want the secondary to be fully compressed around 57 ns after the primary nuclear explosion. Neutrons should already be impacting the secondary at this time.
This bomb doesn't weigh much. The mass of the plutonium is about 5 kg (8.4 cm in diameter for a delta phase solid sphere), and the mass of the uranium is about 15 kg (11.4 cm in diameter for a solid sphere). Titanium and beryllium are low mass materials. I can make a guess on the weight of about 40 kilograms? or 88 pounds, give or take. This does not include the electronics package. Since the secondary is almost three times the mass of the primary, the bomb is heavier at the smaller end. A warhead that contains this bomb can be delivered by both the Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 ICBM's, and the Hwasong-10 and Hwasong-13 SLBM's to any location in the United States. The re-entry vehicle shown in the pictures is for the Hwasong-14 ICBM. That is why it is conical. This vehicle experiences a much more extreme environment (Mach 25) than the re-entry vehicle for the Hwasong-10, Pukguksong-1, Pukguksong-2, Hwasong-12, and Hwasong-13. Those vehicles could not survive re-entry under these conditions. Even this vehicle may not be able to withstand a direct up and down trajectory, "lofted". It is coming straight down at something like Mach 25 right into dense atmosphere. Normal trajectories have the warhead coming in almost horizontally because of the distance traveled, allowing time for lesser heat energy to dissipate over a longer amount of time. At some point they are going to have to test an ICBM on an actual ICBM trajectory to make sure the warheads survive.
"Pyongyang, September 3 (KCNA) -- The Nuclear Weapons Institute of the DPRK gave the following statement in connection with the perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for ICBM: Scientists in the nuclear field of the DPRK successfully carried out a test of H-bomb for ICBM in the northern nuclear test ground of the DPRK at 12:00 on September 3, true to the Workers' Party of Korea's plan for building a strategic nuclear force.
The H-bomb test was carried out to examine and confirm the accuracy and credibility of the power control technology and internal structural design newly introduced into manufacturing H-bomb to be placed at the payload of the ICBM.
The result of the experimental measurements showed that the power specifications of nuclear warhead including total explosion power and fission-to-fusion power rate and all other physical specifications reflecting the qualitative level of two-stage thermo-nuclear weapon fully complied with design figures.
It was also confirmed that even though the recent test was carried out with the bomb of unprecedentedly big power, there were neither emission through ground surface nor leakage of radioactive materials nor did it have any adverse impact on the surrounding ecological environment.
The test re-confirmed the precision of the compression technology of the first system of the H-bomb and the fission chain reaction start control technology and proved once again that the nuclear material utility rate in the first system and the second system reached the levels reflected in the design.
Symmetrical compression of nuclear charge, its fission detonation and high-temperature nuclear fusion ignition, and the ensuing rapidly boosting fission-fusion reactions, which are key technologies for enhancing the nuclear fusion power of the second-system of the H-bomb, were confirmed to have been realized on a high level.
This helped prove that the directional combination structure and multi-layer radiation explosion-proof structural design of the first system and the second system used for the manufacture of the H-bomb were very accurate and the light thermal radiation-resisting materials and neutron-resisting materials were rationally selected.
The test helped draw the conclusion that the Korean-style analytic method and calculation programs for the complicated physical processes occurring in the first and second systems were put on the high level and that the engineering structure of the H-bomb as a nuclear warhead designed on the Juche basis including the structure of the nuclear charge of the second system was creditable.
The test once again confirmed the reliability of the concentration-type nuke detonation control system fully verified through a nuclear warhead detonation test and test launches of various ballistic rockets.
The perfect success in the test of the H-bomb for ICBM clearly proved that the Juche-based nukes of the DPRK have been put on a highly precise basis, the creditability of the operation of the nuclear warhead is fully guaranteed and the design and production technology of nuclear weapons of the DPRK has been put on a high level to adjust its destructive power in consideration of the targets and purposes.
It also marked a very significant occasion in attaining the final goal of completing the state nuclear force.
The Central Committee of the WPK extended warm congratulations to the scientists and technicians in the nuclear field in the northern nuclear test ground on their successful H-bomb test for ICBM."
Korea's hydrogen bomb is very similar in design to the W-87. The primary and secondary are both spherical with the primary being larger than the secondary. North Korea's H-bomb and MIRV are about twice the size of the US counterpart, but the yield is larger.
North Korea's foreign minister claimed that "the most powerful detonation" of a hydrogen bomb could be conducted by the DPRK over the Pacific Ocean. The largest ever nuclear explosion was the detonation of the Tsar Bomba «Царь-бомба» at 58 megatons. This was scaled down from the original design of 100 megatons because of the possible damage over a large distance and fallout concerns. North Korea has conducted black out drills in towns along the east coast of the country, possibly preparing for EMP side effects. Creating the largest nuclear explosion in the history of mankind would be something that North Korean propaganda would like to do.
This is North Korea's first implosion fission bomb. This picture was taken sometime in the 1990's or early 2000's, judging by Kim Jong Il's hair pattern. According to former Secretary of State James Baker, North Korea had a crude nuclear bomb while he was Secretary of State. He served between 1989 and 1992. That bomb possibly was a uranium gun-type bomb.
Kim Jong IL in 2000
Since this bomb only has 32 lenses, which means they are thick, and the bomb is small, there may not be a uranium tamper and possibly no fusion boosting. If this is just a sphere of plutonium surrounded by an explosive lens system, it probably has a yield of less than a kiloton.
North Korea Nuclear Tests
|9 October 2006||2 kilotons||unreflected, non-DT-boosted; test of critical mass|
|25 May 2009||13 kilotons||reflected, non-DT-boosted; test of reflector|
|12 February 2013||32 kilotons||reflected, DT-boosted; test of DT boosting|
|6 January 2016||45 kilotons||reflected, non-DT-boosted, single lithium deuteride shell; test of lithium deuteride fusion physics; claimed hydrogen bomb test|
|9 September 2016||89 kilotons||reflected, DT-boosted, single lithium deuteride shell; first deployed weapon; 122 point implosion|
|3 September 2017||4 megatons||two-stage hydrogen bomb with reflected and DT-boosted primary; spherical uranium-235 secondary with lithium deuteride shell; deployed version is variable-yield, tens of kilotons to hundreds of kilotons|
The Hwasong-15 《화성-15》ICBM's first stage is liquid-fueled and has two main engines that are gimballed, meaning they move for steering. These are the only engines in the first stage. The second stage is also liquid-fueled. North Korea should be able to orbit a satellite or nuclear warhead with the Hwasong-15. The Titan II missile was used to orbit satellites and the Gemini spacecraft after it was discontinued as an ICBM. The Hwasong-15 is very similar to the Titan II, which was the most powerful ICBM ever developed by the US with a 15,000 km range and carrying the most massive warhead developed by the US for a rocket, the W-53, with a yield of 9 megatons. The Hwasong-15 is shorter than the Titan II and has a range of 13,000 km. It also looks similar to the FOBS(Fractional Orbital Bombardment System) developed by the Soviet Union. The ICBM uses two gimballed Ukrainian RD250 engines in its first stage and a single Ukrainian RD252 engine in its second stage. These were the engines used in the Tsyklon(Циклон, "Cyclone") series of Ukrainian space launch vehicles. The longer nozzle of the RD252 engine is optimized for use in the vacuum of space. The rocket is propelled with a hypergolic mixture of UDMH (unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine(H2NN(CH3)2)) and dinitrogen tetroxide(N2O4). "Hypergolic" means that the two chemicals spontaneously combust when mixed together. These types of missiles are fueled and ready to launch at a moment's notice for 7.5 years before the liquids have to be replaced. These chemicals are stable at a wide range of temperatures, which is why they are used. The optimum mixture ratio for the combustion chamber pressure is somewhere around 2.6 N2O4/H2NN(CH3)2 by mass. Given the densities of the two substances, the oxidizer tanks should be about 1.4 times the length of the fuel tanks. The Hwasong-15 looks like it can fit four hydrogen bomb MIRVs in its shroud. There were four Hwasong-15's, five Hwasong-14's, and seven Hwasong-12's at the parade. That represents 28 intercontinental range nuclear warheads just at the parade. Currently, North Korea's MIRVs are about twice as large as US MIRVs because the hydrogen bomb design is larger. They may be able to fit up to 10 MIRVs on the Hwasong-15 if they can make them as small as US MIRVs.
The North Koreans gave hints in the image below that a Titan II-like design would be tested. The image on the left is of the Hwasong-13 which has two engines. The image on the right says, "Submarine Strategic Titan 《Polaris-3》."
Because the Hwasong-15 is so long the distortion caused by perspective is huge. The missile really can hold four warheads.
A test of the Hwasong-15 on an actual ICBM trajectory would probably fly over the same area of Japan as the Hwasong-12 missile tests, between the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu, north of Hawaii, and coming down west of the Galapagos. The Hwasong-12 tests were probably meant to show what the trajectory would be, not targeting Hawaii.
The Hwasong-14 《화성-14》 ICBM is based on the liquid-fueled "medium long range missile", the Hwasong-12. "Hwasong" is Korean for "Mars". The first stage is a wider version of the Hwasong-12's single stage which has one main engine and four verniers (steering engines). The second stage is liquid-fueled with four small engines that are essentially the same as the verniers in the first stage with larger nozzles for the vacuum of space. The second test of the Hwasong-14 was conducted at night and had a longer range. The interstage between the first and second stages has 8 small separation rockets. The performance of the first stage matches that of the Hwasong-12 in terms of distance travelled. Since the second stage plus warhead has a much larger mass than the warhead and post-boost vehicle of the Hwasong-12, the diameter of the first stage is larger than that of the Hwasong-12, and thus carries more fuel. The ignition of the second stage begins at the point at which the Hwasong-12 would have finished its entire burn, adding range to the 8,000 km range of the Hwasong-12. The current known size of North Korean conical MIRVs only allows for one MIRV on this missile. It can fit three American-sized MIRVs. The Hwasong-14 is designed to be on par with the Minuteman 3. The Minuteman 3 has three stages because it is solid-fueled, and solid-fueled engines are heavier than liquid-fueled engines. North Korea currently does not have the capability to indigenously produce solid rocket motors of the diameter needed for the first stage. They are working in this direction. They do have the capability to manufacture smaller diameter solid rocket motors which are used in their Pukguksong-1 SLBM and Pukguksong-2 intermediate range missile. Larger diameter solid rocket motors require a more advanced material than the one used in their smaller diameter motors. North Korea already has the TELs for larger diameter solid propellant intermediate range and intercontinental range missiles.
Second stage burn.
Below is the test of the liquid-fueled second stage. The second, night time test of the missile had more engines in the second stage according to North Korea, probably four instead of two, with an increase in range of 14,900 km; that's longer than the Hwasong-15, but with only one warhead.
The TEL below is the exact same one that North Korea has paraded the Hwasong-14 on. This canister was paraded in April of 2017, three months before the first launch of the Hwasong-14.
The first missile named Hwasong-13 《화성-13》 is a three stage liquid-fueled ICBM. There were actually two versions of this first missile. The first image below is of the first version of the first incarnation of the Hwasong-13. The second version of the first incarnation was modified so that it had longer fuel and oxidizer tanks in the second stage with more of the engine nozzle embedded in the fuel tank. You can tell this by the lengths of the external cable ducts. This is the missile in the background of the miniaturized fission bomb warhead video. The first stage has two Rodong/HS-10 engines and four verniers. The second stage has a single Rodong/HS-10 engine with fixed nozzle; no steering with the second stage, just controlled burn time. Since the engine is embedded in the fuel tank, the engine nozzle doesn't have to be larger for the vacuum of space. The third stage has two small engines embedded in the fuel tank derived from verniers also without steering. The post boost vehicle steers the warhead and is the same one used on the Hwasong-12 ICBM. The warhead on this missile is also the same one on the Hwasong-12, the Combat 8. This missile appears to be a modification of an existing Russian SLBM in order to transform it into an intercontinental range ICBM. It is speculated that this missile has been replaced by the Hwasong-14 which currently has a single conical MIRV underneath its shroud, not the warhead in this picture.
Here is the Hwasong-13, second incarnation. This missile has not been cancelled. It is not an ICBM. It is an SLBM. It uses the same engines in the first stage as the Mod 1. The separation plane is underneath the apparatus that holds the missile to the TEL. Its use as an SLBM requires that all separation rockets be recessed, except for the ones on the tapered tip. This missile is based on the Russian R-29R Volna SLBM which has a range of 4,000 miles. Since both Hwasong-13's are based on the R-29, it's possible that this SLBM version is actually the first version. The ICBM version was first seen in 2012. Three Hwasong-13 SLBM's are carried in each of North Korea's 10 Golf II class submarines. This missile can reach any location in the US if fired off the west or east coasts of North America. North Korea purchased the Golf II class submarines "for scrap" from Russia in 1993. These have three launch tubes each and launched the R-21 missile while submerged.
The warhead section is the post boost vehicle. In this image you can see ports for fuel and oxidizer for the post-boost vehicle manoeuvring thrusters and access panels 5 and 6. Access panels 5, 6, 7, and 8 are at the top of the second stage. Access panels 1, 2, 3, and 4 are at the top of the first stage. Access panels 5 through 8 are probably made of a material that prevents the missile body from vaporizing when the separation rockets fire. The black sections on the Russian versions serve this purpose.
This graphic shows how the separation rockets remove the warhead from the second stage and how the manoeuvring thrusters of the post-boost vehicle rotate the warhead into position.
Below is a video showing the mysterious launch of a ballistic missile from an unknown submarine off the coast of California in 2011.
North Korea has an ICBM TEL(Transporter-Erector Launcher) that looks very similar to the TEL for the Chinese DF-31 solid-fueled, three stage ICBM. The TEL has the same number of wheels, except the North Korean version has double thin wheels whereas the Chinese version has single thick wheels. On each side there are four wheels in the rear with a hydraulic piston in the middle. There are two wheels in the front. There is a box in between the four and two wheel sections with five square access panels on both the Chinese and North Korean TELs. The cab is different. The Chinese version has two thin wheels on each side of the cab, whereas the North Korean cab only has one thin wheel on each side. The original DF-31 only has a range of 8,000 km which means North Korea could only reach the states of Washington and Oregon with such a missile. However, the improved DF-31A which uses the same TEL has a range of 11,200 km which means such a missile fired by North Korea could reach all of the US except Florida. The DF-31B has an even longer range but requires a TEL that supports more weight and would look much different than this.
This is the TEL for the Chinese DF-31 solid-fueled ICBM.
The Hwasong-12 《화성-12》 ICBM is a single stage liquid-fueled missile with one main engine and four steering engines. The four verniers provide additional thrust making it what the Koreans call a "medium long range missile". The missile body has small retrorockets placed before the warhead used in separation. The Korean text on the warhead says 전투8-지(Combat 8), meaning Mark 8 warhead. By definition an ICBM has a range of 5,500 km or more. The Hwasong-12's lofted trajectory maximum altitude of 2,111 km means that it has a range of more than 8,000 km. This also means that it can reach all of Washington State and portions of Oregon, basically Seattle and Portland. The Hwasong-12 is the only single stage ICBM in existence. It is a long missile with a lot of fuel.
The post boost vehicle for this ICBM is the yellow tapered cylinder on which the quad-conical Combat-8 warhead rests.
The Hwasong-12 ICBM is a little bit shorter than the Hwasong-13 and Hwasong-14 ICBM's. All three missiles have a length to diameter ratio of 10 to 1. The Hwasong-12 is carried on the same 12-wheeled TEL that the Hwasong-10 SLBM was paraded on. The missile is too long for the TEL; the tip of the missile extends beyond the TEL. The Hwasong-13 and Hwasong-14 ICBM's are carried on the same 16-wheeled TEL that the Hwasong-13 Mod 2 SLBM was paraded on. The SLBM was too short for the TEL. The Hwasong-15 ICBM is carried on an 18-wheeled TEL. Yes, North Korea has four ICBM designs. Currently the United States has only one kind of ICBM deployed, the Minuteman III.
The highly accurate, nuclear-capable, short range, solid-fueled Hwasong-11 《화성-11》, also called Toksa (Viper), is a copy of the Soviet OTR-21 Tochka(Точка) (оперативно тактический ракетный комплекс, operational tactical rocket complex). The missile is contained inside the launch vehicle. It is erected and launched after a hatch opens. The missile has solid fins toward the rear, grid fins at the rear, and steering vanes.
North Korea has a liquid-fueled, intermediate range nuclear armed SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile), Hwasong-10 《화성-10》, Musudan by the Pentagon. By testing it on land, launched from a mobile TEL, they tried to trick the world into believing that the HS-10 was a mobile missile for use on the Korean peninsula and the western Pacific region: Japan, Guam, etc. The Pukguksong-2 and Hwasong-12 were developed for this purpose because the Rodong was unable to hit Guam, an important target basing B-2's. The Hwasong-12 can also hit Alaska, Hawaii, and the northwestern states of Washington and Oregon. The HS-10 is derived from the Soviet SLBM, R-27 Zyb «Зыбь р-27», meaning "swell" as in ocean swell. It uses a hypergolic mixture of UDMH(unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine) and N2O4(dinitrogen tetroxide). The two chemicals spontaneously combust when mixed together. The Zyb probably was the first missile in which the engine is inside the fuel tank. The HS-10 is a longer version of the R-27, meaning longer range. It only has two steering engines. Making it longer with the existing guidance system caused it to become unstable leading to failures. It is harder to keep the missile stable with only two verniers. They increased the stability by adding eight grid fins instead of adding two additional verniers. North Korea sold an unknown quantity of the HS-10 to Iran, which they call the Khorramshahr. It does not need grid fins for stability because of improved guidance. Iran now has the Khorramshahr-2 which has a highly accurate MaRV. The HS-10's diameter and length plus an ejection mechanism seems to fit North Korea's Gorae class submarine which was seen during the test of the much shorter Pukgukgsong-1 SLBM.
This is the Combat 6 warhead which is a larger version of the Combat 5 warhead. It is quadconical just like the Combat 8 warhead. The third cone from the tip actually appears to be a cylinder.
In this picture you can see a painted thick white stripe. This is probably where the rubber spacers go that prevent the grid fins and cable ducts from contacting the launch tube. Since the engine is embedded in the fuel tank, there probably isn't room to recess eight grid fins into the missile body as is the case in the Pukguksong's-1 and 2. The whole purpose of embedding the engine of the R-27 in the fuel tank was so that the physical size of the rocket was as small as possible so that it could fit in the submarine.
This is the Khorramshahr intermediate range ballistic missile. Since this is a modification of the Hwasong-10, which is based on a Russian SLBM and probably is an SLBM, Iran has the technology to produce a 4,000 km range SLBM, allowing them to project power around the globe.
Conical MaRV(Manoeuvrable Re-entry Vehicle)
If you look closely in this video you can see the exhaust plumes from the two verniers. The exhaust plume of the rocket looks identical in shape and length to that of the Hwasong-10.
Below is a graphic titled "Submarine Strategic Titan, Pukguksong-3 《북극성-3》", what the US would call an SLBM. The Pukguksong-3 could be an SLBM version of the Pukguksong-2 with three warheads instead of two.
Below is an image of the Pukguksong-3. You can see some sort of bubble wrap covering the black paint. This missile along with the Pukguksong-1 and Pukgukgsong-2 has four black painted rectangles surrounding its base. This missile differs, at the point this picture was made, in that the recesses for the eight grid fins do not overlap the black rectangles. There are two recesses for grid fins in between each of the four black rectangles.
Korea has a two stage, solid-fueled medium range nuclear missile, the Pukguksong-2 《북극성-2》, which can fit two Combat-5(전투5-지) re-entry vehicles. "Pukguksong" is Korean for "Polaris", the North Star. Polaris was a two stage, solid-fueled, American SLBM that looked very similar to the Pukguksong. It's possible that much of North Korea's technology was obtained from the interception of classified US documents from the Pueblo Incident. In 1968 the North Koreans capured the USS Pueblo, a spy ship. Vast amounts of classified material were seized before the crew had a chance to destroy it. Encrypted communications devices were also seized which North Korea and the Soviets reverse engineered, allowing them to listen to US Naval communications up until the late 1980's. They even gave their submarine launched missile the same name as the one the US was using in 1968, "Polaris". It's also possible that old US missile designs are being given to North Korea by another country that obtained them through espionage or by a faction in US intelligence. The Polaris A3T missile had a 3-MIRV warhead. The Pukguksong-2 is a wider, land-based version of their solid-fueled SLBM, the Pukguksong. Its preparation for launch time is very short. Plus, it has a tracked TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher), which the Koreans referred to as "caterpillar". The caterpillar should be able to travel over rugged terrain and hide from spy satellites. This missile tested manoeuvres and deployed two warheads plus penetration aids to defeat a missile defence system. You can see its second stage accelerate and change direction as a result of the mass change.
The rubber/plastic spacers surrounding the missile in the image below are rectangular in appearance. The ones from the previous launch in the second image are jigsaw-shaped.
It appears that the two Combat 5 warheads fit best at a 9 degree angle. The solid fuel burn begins at the top in each stage, and the hot gas proceeds down a tube running through the center of the fuel. When the burn reaches the bottom portion of the solid fuel, the rocket nozzle is held in place by six verticle plates that are situated at 60 degrees to each other.
The Chevaline Penetration Aid Carrier was used on the British Polaris A3TK missile.
The two-stage solid-fueled American Polaris A3 SLBM looks similar to the two-stage solid-fueled North Korean Pukguksong-2 SLBM and even has the same name. "Pukguksong" means "Polaris", the north star.
Second stage firing
The second stage can be seen changing direction and accelerating after it has released the warheads and penetration aids. Since it veers to the right, that probably means that the penetration aid carrier and attached warhead have tilted to the right while the other warhead has tilted to the left.
The DPRK tested this heat shield for a nuclear warhead re-entry vehicle. They put it under the exhaust of a rocket firing, producing temperatures much greater than ballistic re-entry.
Here is the two stage, solid-fueled, submarine launched ballistic missile, the Pukguksong-1 《북극성-1》. The Korean text on the warhead says 전투5-지(Combat-5), meaning a Mark 5 warhead. Notice that the tip of the Pukguksong is identical to the tested heat shield. The DPRK launched the Pukguksong from their Gorae("whale") class submarine which has one or two launch tubes. The Pentagon calls this the Sinpo class because it was first seen at the Sinpo Naval Shipyard. The Pukguksong-1 has a diameter of 1.1 metres, while the Hwasong-10 has a diameter of 1.5 metres, and the Pukguksong-2 has a diameter of 1.4 metres. A North Korean defector has stated that North Korea is developing two submarines that have four launch tubes each, presumed to be reworked Golf II class submarines. The DPRK has a new submarine under construction according to North Korea watchers, dubbed Sinpo-C, because it is believed to be their third Gorae class submarine. There have been reports that North Korea is constructing a nuclear-powered submarine. This may be the same submarine. Ten Golf II class submarines plus three Sinpo's would allow for between 33 and 36 submarine launched ballistic missiles, 46 if all the Golf II's are re-engineered with four launch tubes. If they indeed have 10 Golf II class submarines that would put them at over 80 submarines, making them the country with the most submarines.
Combat 5 Warhead
The Pukguksong-1 has eight grid fins. Attached to the missile is a compressed gas cylinder that ejects the missile from the launch tube. The cylinder has four smaller grid fins that are kept closed by the little red rectangles in the images below. These cylinder grid fins spring open when the missile leaves the launch tube. They stabilize the missile while it is travelling underwater. The compressed gas cylinder has eight metal bars welded to the plates that cover the grid fins for the missile. When the cylinder detaches, the plates are pulled away, and the grid fins spring open.
Wound composite filaments encase the solid rocket fuel, HTPB (Hydroxyl Terminated Polybutadiene) or NEPE (Nitrate Ester Plasticized Polyether). The filament material has a higher strength to weight ratio than aluminium.
United States Polaris A2
The solid fuel burn begins at the top in each stage, and the hot gas proceeds down a tube running through the center of the fuel. When the burn reaches the bottom portion of the solid fuel, the rocket nozzle is held in place by six verticle plates that are situated at 60 degrees to each other.
Since the Pukguksong-1 SLBM is much shorter than the height of the Gorae class submarine, it may be designed for a smaller submarine, possibly a midget class. The images of the underwater launch are from an underwater barge. No image has been released of the missile being launched from an actual submarine. The smaller the submarine is, the harder it is to detect. A midget submarine could possibly navigate in a river like the Mississippi. Since the missile has four grid fins on its pressurized gas ejection cylinder to stabilize it, it may be launched from a torpedo tube. It may automatically tilt upward when ejected because there is air in the warhead section and between the two stages, with the second stage being shorter than the first. One of the first images of the Pukguksong-1 being launched shows it rising out of the water at an angle with no grid fins.
Below is a video of the first test of North Korea launching an SLBM from a submarine. The missile tested was liquid-fueled, either an R-27 Zyb or a clone of that missile. Notice that the missile leaves the water at an angle, meaning that the compressed gas cylinder ejector does not have stabilizing fins in this early version. Neither does the missile have grid fins. This test demonstrates the ability to launch missiles from submarines including the ability to launch liquid-fueled missiles from submarines. No video or pictures actually show the missile being fired from the submarine in the video. It's possible the missile was launched from the torpedo tube of a midget submarine. The Pukguksong-1 has a diameter of 1.1 metres. The Yugo class has a beam of 3.1 metres. The Sango-O class has a beam of 3.8 metres. The Yono class has a beam of 2.75 metres. All three classes of North Korea's midget submarines have a width that is more than twice the diameter of the Pukguksong-1. All three classes of these midget submarines are believed to have two torpedo tubes that fire 533 mm torpedoes. These could be re-engineered to house two larger diameter torpedo tubes or one larger diameter torpedo tube.
Below is a video showing the RPK-6 "torpedo missile" being launched from the cruiser Peter the Great. There is also a submarine launched version of this missile, the RPK-7. Torpedo missiles characteristically have four grid fins attached to the compressed gas cylinder, just like the Pukguksong-1.
The Pukguksong-1 is believed to have a range of 2,000 km. Below is a graphic of its range if fired from the Mississippi River. If it is proven that this missile can be launched from a midget submarine navigating rivers, the US will give it an official range of 0 kilometres.
North Korea now has a ballistic missile submarine that can launch ten Pukguksong-1 nuclear armed SLBM's.
The DPRK has a medium range ASBM (anti-ship ballistic missile), the KN-17, developed from the phased-out Scud B. The fins allow for greater manoeuvrability and accuracy of the MaRV (Manoeuvrable Re-Entry Vehicle). It was announced that the first test of this missile had a drift of 7 metres. That's 7 metres from the point it was designed to impact. That is very good accuracy. If the target had been an aircraft carrier, that would have been a direct hit. I would not be surprised if they develop a longer range version based on the Rodong or Hwasong-12. This missile makes North Korea the only country to possess a liquid-fueled anti-ship ballistic missile. Only two other countries have anti-ship ballistic missiles, China and Iran. Those are solid-fueled.
The medium range Hwasong-9, Scud ER (Extended Range), is a longer range version of the Scud-C with much better guidance than the Scuds of Saddam Hussein's era. These are nuclear capable. Korea launched a volley of four Scud ER's near Japan in March of 2017. These missiles all performed the same pre-programmed manoeuvres, not random manoeuvres. Japan did not attempt to shoot down these missiles. An intercept attempt of these missiles would have been visible in the video. It would have failed and caused huge embarrassment and a media frenzy because Korea would have shown this to the world. They wanted to do the same with a missile volley near Guam with four Hwasong-12's surrounding the island. They decided against it probably because it might have been interpreted as an attack.
In this photo you can see the terminal high altitude manoeuvers. The purpose of a lofted trajectory is to increase the speed at which the missile approaches the target in order to better defeat missile defense. In order for this missile to have any range at all when lofted, its range has to be increased, hence Scud ER.
The Hwasong-7 《화성-7》, Rodong, medium range missile is a scaled up version of the Scud-B with twice the cross sectional area. It is called Nodong in the South Korean dialect.
This is a Hwasong-6 (Scud-C) with submunitions. North Korea phased out the Scud and Scud-B (Hwasong-5) many years ago, selling many Scud-B's (Shahab-1) to Iran in 1985 and helping them start a production line. North Korea also sold Hwasong-5's to the United Arab Emirates in 1989.
North Korea now has a short range solid-fueled nuclear missile system that resembles the Russian Iskander missile system which has two missiles that are launched from and contained inside one vehicle. "Iskander" is a Persian variant of the name "Alexander". The Iskander system allows for different types of missiles to be hidden inside the vehicle, including cruise missiles. Intelligence, therefor, can't determine what kind of missiles are inside. It's possible that North Korea could launch a Kumsong-3 cruise missile from this vehicle. The Iskander has a CEP (Circular Error Probability) of 2 to 7 metres, has a flat trajectory( never leaves the atmosphere), performs manoeuvres to avoid ABM systems, deploys decoys, and is re-targetable in flight. The cable ducts on the North Korean version extend past what would be the guidance section (priborniy otsek, blue arrow in middle of diagram) in the Russian version. They also extend into the region where the fins are located but are halfway between two fins. The ducts do not interfere with the movement of the fins, which is necessary for the violent manoeuvres performed during the final supersonic approach to the target, Mach 7 according to South Korean radar. Violent manoeuvres (up to 30 g) are also achieved with gas jets as seen in the image from Gori during the 2008 conflict. The North Korean version has a much longer range than the 500km range Iskander, allowing them to reach all of South Korea. Notice that the shapes of the fins are slightly different and do not cover the base of the missile. The extension of the cable duct to the first half portion of the fins suggests that a good portion of the nozzle is embedded in the solid fuel. This is probably done to stablize the nozzle when the burn reaches the end of the motor, replacing the six verticle plates of the Pukguksong 1. Having this missile makes it easier for them to secretly receive Iskanders from the Russian government. The creation of a railroad running from Russia across the border into North Korea was discussed at the Kim-Putin summit.
In the video below the launch vehicle is tracked and still holds two missiles.
Seen below, North Korea now has a second version of the Iskander. This version has a shorter motor and shorter range.
Ukraine now has a copy of the Iskander missile.
The Kumsong-3 《금성-3》(Venus-3) anti-ship cruise missile can be launched from a ship or a mobile tracked vehicle and can strike land targets as well. It resembles the Russian Kh-35 cruise missile which has a range of 300km, but it is longer with smaller tail fins. Since it is longer, it probably has a longer range.
Ukraine now has a copy of North Korea's Kumsong 3 called the Neptune.
The Kumsong-1 《금성-1》(Venus-1) anti-ship missile is a North Korean version of the Chinese Silkworm missile, which is a version of the Soviet P-15 Termit.
I haven't been able to find out the name of this flying bomb. It probably is an anti-ship missile based on the colours, possibly the Kumsong-2.
Look. It's the Kwangmyongsong-3 Unit 2 《광명성―3》호 2호기 satellite.
The DPRK may have an EMP nuclear device in orbit. Kwangmyongsong-3.2《광명성―3》호 2호기 and Kwangmyongsong-4 《광명성-4》 are in polar orbits that bring each of them over the United States twice a day. Kwangmyongsong means "lodestar", a star that is used to guide the course of a ship. These satellites are at the perfect altitude for an EMP covering the continental US, 300 miles. An EMP does not require a hydrogen bomb level yield. In fact, two stage hydrogen bombs are inefficient at creating EMPs because the fission primary can pre-ionize the atmosphere and the prompt gamma emission is much less than 1% of yield; Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse. Small pure fission weapons with thin cases are far more efficient at causing EMP than most megaton bombs. From the wikipedia article: "The total prompt gamma ray energy in a fission explosion is 3.5% of the yield, but in a 10 kiloton detonation the triggering explosive around the bomb core absorbs about 85% of the prompt gamma rays, so the output is only about 0.5% of the yield." The prompt gamma output for hydrogen bombs is much less than 0.5%. The fission bomb that Korea released images of has 122 lenses which means that the lenses could be much thinner than most, or possibly all, of the world's previously tested bombs. Since Kwangmyongsong 3.2 was Korea's first successful satellite launch, it is more likely that only Kwangmyongsong-4 contains an EMP weapon. Kwangmyongsong-4 was launched one month after Korea conducted a nuclear test in January of 2016 which they claimed was a hydrogen bomb test. Fission is what you need for an EMP, not fusion. Two stage hydrogen bombs are not good for EMP weapons because the tritium-deuterium fusion reaction only produces a high energy 16.75 MeV gamma ray in 0.000033% of reactions. Almost all of the reactions result in 14.1 MeV neutrons and 3.5 MeV helium nuclei. Any gamma produced from these particles are not prompt. Deuterium-tritium gas is used in tokamaks for fusion research because it has the highest cross section and doesn't emit gamma rays ("clean"). Gamma rays are what we need for an EMP weapon. A nuke detonated in outer space doesn't have matter to couple the energy. There is no fireball. The EMP is produced by the atmosphere when it is struck by gamma rays. The average gamma emitted from plutonium-239 fission has an energy of 7.8 MeV. The average gamma emitted from uranium-235 fission has an energy of 7 MeV. An EMP nuke should have more power with increased amount of fissioning material. Since a sloika is a one stage weapon and produces about 20 times the amount of fission as a 10 kiloton fission bomb, it may in fact be the Super EMP bomb. I would think that the gamma produced by U-238 fission would be in the same range as that of U-235 and Pu-239 fission, but U-238 fission does result in more symmetric fission than the other two; daughter particles closer in size to each other. You would want to reduce the amount of material that could absorb gamma rays. So you would want a small mass explosive lense system and a small outer case or no case at all. It's kind of ironic because the Soviet Union produced the first deployable hydrogen bomb, the sloika. The US continues to deny this, refusing to call this a "true" hydrogen bomb because it doesn't match what they think a hydrogen bomb should be, two stages or more, and the US has never tested such a bomb as far as I know. This could be the bomb that destroys America.
It's interesting that this image released by North Korea takes the satellite right over Washington, D.C.
You can track the Kwangmyongsong-3.2 satellite here.
You can track the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite here.
Both of these satellites orbit at 300 miles altitude.
Here is a screen capture from N2YO.com.
The Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite was launched atop the Kwangmyongsong《광명성》("lodestar" or "bright star") space launch vehicle on February 7, 2016. It is in a polar orbit at approximately 300 miles altitude. The Kwangmyongsong space launch vehicle is either identical to the Unha-3 space launch vehicle or slightly upgraded. The Unha-3 space launch vehicle is a three stage rocket. The first stage has four clustered Rodong engines with four verniers. The second stage has a single Rodong engine. The third stage is solid-fueled. There is no question about the intercontinental range of this rocket as it has put a 200 kilogram satellite into orbit. There is no reason the DPRK couldn't have built an arsenal of these rockets armed with nuclear warheads hidden in underground silos before they developed proper ICBMs. The DPRK's missile research partner, Iran, has shown pictures of their underground missile storage facilities with ready to launch missiles in the erect position. Korea continues to develop their space programme, (National Aerospace Development Administration, NADA,국가우주개발국), with a larger space launch vehicle in development.
North Korea has been building tunnel networks since the 1950's. Tunnels leading into South Korean terrority have been discovered over the years. It is believed that many more have not been discovered. These are large tunnels designed to transport troops, tanks, missiles, nuclear weapons, etc. North Korea trained the Iranians in tunnel building. This is a picture from an Iranian tunnel network.
The Kwangmyongsong-3 Unit 2 satellite was launched atop the Unha-3《은하-3》, "Galaxy-3", space launch vehicle on December 11, 2012. It is in a polar orbit at approximately 300 miles altitude.
The Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite was launched atop the Unha-3《은하-3》, "Galaxy-3", space launch vehicle on April 13, 2012. The vehicle disintegrated during flight along with the satellite.
The Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite was launched atop the Unha-2《은하-2》, "Galaxy-2", space launch vehicle on April 5, 2009 according to the DPRK. The US claims this satellite failed to achieve orbit.
The Kwangmyongsong-1 satellite was launched atop the three-stage Paektusan-1 (Taepodong-1) space launch vehicle according to the DPRK on August 31, 1998. The US claims this satellite failed to reach orbit. The first stage has one Rodong engine with steering vanes. The second stage has one Scud engine. The third stage is solid-fueled and spin stabilized before releasing the satellite.
Korea reported the success of the satellite launch as follows:
"Our scientists and technicians have succeeded in launching the first artificial satellite aboard a multi-stage rocket into orbit. The rocket was launched in the direction of 86 degrees at a launching station in Musudan-ri (40.8 deg N, 129.7 deg E) at 12:07 August 31, 1998 and correctly put the satellite into orbit at 12 hours 11 minutes 53 seconds in four minutes 53 seconds."
"The rocket is of three stages. The first stage was separated from the rocket 95 seconds after the launch and fell on the open waters of the East Sea of Korea 253 km off the launching station, that is 40 degrees 51 minutes north latitude 139 degrees 40 minutes east longitude. The second stage opened the capsule in 144 seconds, separated itself from the rocket in 266 seconds and fell on the open waters of the Pacific 1,646 km off from the launching station, that is 40 degrees 13 minutes north latitude 149 degrees 07 minutes east longitude. The third stage put the satellite into orbit 27 seconds after the separation of the second stage."
"The satellite is running along the oval orbit 218.8 km in the nearest distance from the earth and 6,978.2 km in the farthest distance. Its period is 165 minutes 6 seconds. The satellite is equipped with necessary sounding instruments. The satellite is now transmitting the melody of the revolutionary hymns in 27 MHz."
Korea also has a domestically produced version of the S-300 air defence system.
Korea has a mobile version of the SA-3 surface to air missile system.
The DPRK has a new large caliber multiple launch rocket system (MLRS). This is the largest caliber MLRS in existence and has the longest range. It's possible that this is the previously tested KN-09 300mm MLRS or a larger caliber version of it. It's hard to tell from the pictures if it has a wider diameter because it is launched at an angle.
The DPRK already had the world's longest range MLRS when they introduced the indigenously produced KN-09 300mm MLRS which consisted of two pods containing 4 rockets each. The rockets have a range of 250km, covering 75% of the ROK, and putting Daejeon(Taejon) in range, where the joint US-ROK military headquarters of the army, navy, and air force is located. The rockets have four control fins on their heads to improve accuracy. These rockets are also equipped with imagery-guidance and GPS systems. The rocket pods can be changed out with preloaded ones, increasing the firing rate.
The North Koreans may have dispensed with the rocket pods and simply gone to eight tubes.
North Korea now has an MLRS vehicle with 40 launch tubes and 40 rockets ready for reload all on the same vehicle. The launch mechanism appears to be able to swivel around and reload once without involving another reloading vehicle. That's 80 rockets fired in quick succession.
The Koksan is a 170 mm self-propelled gun indigenously designed and produced by Korea.
Maximum firing range: 60 km (with RAP round)
Effective firing range: 40 km (standard munition), 60 km (booster munition)
Operational range: 300 km
Rate of fire: 1-2 rounds per 5 minutes
North Korea has upgraded their version of the wire-guided 9K111 Fagot anti-tank missile with a laser-guided version called Bulsae-3(Phoenix-3).
North Korea now has an armored vehicle that fires eight laser-guided Bulsae-3 anti-tank missiles.
Nuclear suitcase bombs are gun-type bombs that usually use highly pure plutonium-239, probably the most dense alpha phase, not the least dense delta phase used in spherical compression bombs. Uranium-235 is not a good choice for a suitcase bomb because its critical mass of 15kg is three times that of plutonium-239. Since the compression of the assembled mass is much less than in an implosion, the critical mass is much larger than in implosion. The Little Boy uranium-235 gun-type bomb had roughly four critical masses, 64.15kg of 80% enriched uranium. Normally plutonium cannot be used in a gun-type bomb because the presence of plutonium-240 in reactor-produced plutonium causes the assembly to expand prematurely because of its high spontaneous fission rate, and thus early release of neutrons. In a normal plutonium implosion bomb, the plutonium needs to be less than 7% plutonium-240. In July 1992 the IAEA(International Atomic Energy Agency) determined that a sample of plutonium given to them by North Korea for testing had a plutonium-240 content of 2.44%. US plutonium has a plutonium-240 content of 6%. Plutonium-240 is reduced by removing the fuel rods very early for reprocessing. Isotope separation using centrifuges is also possible, but it would be a lot harder than enriching uranium since the mass difference is one nucleon 239:240 as opposed to a mass difference of three 235:238 with uranium enrichment. A more efficient suitcase nuke could be made using two point implosion, linear implosion of a stretched sphere, or multi-lens implosion if there are enough lenses to make the implosion scheme really thin. This may be possible with 122 lenses.
North Korea now has a nuclear ballistic missile submarine which may be nuclear powered.
Nuke your own city with the NUKEMAP! Make sure to use advanced settings.
Screen shot of the nuke map
Screen shot of the MISSILEMAP
Click on FEMA's map for a zoomable map of the predicted nuclear strike zones, fallout patterns, and power plant and FEMA locations.
The safest location in a building is the one which puts the most material between you and the atmosphere outside that is emitting gamma rays. This image was produced by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
One should also take iodine pills if nuclear war has started. The iodine will saturate your thyroid so that it will not uptake radioactive iodine-131 which is produced as a fission byproduct of nuclear explosions. Radioactive iodine-131 in your thyroid causes thyroid cancer. You may also want to take calcium because radioactive strontium-90 is a fission byproduct that your body misidentifies as calcium and causes bone cancer. Radioactive caesium-137 is also misidentified by your body as potassium. So you may want to take potassium as well. The radioactive iodine is the greatest threat, but it has a short half life of about a week. I would take iodine pills and a multivitamin if nuclear bombs have exploded.
Those who survive the nuclear attacks and radioactive fallout have biological weapons to contend with. The DPRK possesses the capability to deploy many agents: Bacillus anthracis(Anthrax), Clostridium botulinum(Botulism) and botulinum toxin, Vibrio cholerae(Cholera), Seoul orthohantavirus(Korean hemorrhagic fever), Yersinia Pestis(Plague), Variola(Smallpox), Salmonella enterica enterica(typhoid fever), Flavivirus(Yellow Fever), Brucella, Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B, Rickettsia prowazekii (Epidemic Typhus), T-2 Mycotoxins(alimentary toxic aleukia), and Zaire ebolavirus.
Anthrax bacterium( bacillus anthracis ) is one of the biological weapons that Korea possesses. Anthrax exists in two forms, live bacterium and spores. Live bacteria can be stored in a liquid. Live bacteria develop into spores that can remain dormant for thousands of years when the environmental conditions become hostile. Anthrax is weaponized in two ways, genetic modification to make it have a higher mortality once an individual is infected, and improving its transmissibility by altering its physical characteristics. Genetic modification would strive to make the bacterium resistant to antibiotics, chemicals, heat, and cold. Anthrax can infect a person through the breathing in of spores (inhalation), skin contact with live anthrax or spores (cutaneous), or ingesting live anthrax or spores (gastrointestinal). Anthrax produces a toxin, cleverly called "lethal toxin". Symptoms of anthrax infection include chest discomfort, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, small painless lesions that become black and necrotic, fever, vomiting of blood, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, compromised breathing due to lesions in the throat, mouth sores, inflammation of the intestinal tract, loss of appetite. Anthrax's transmissibility is increased by developing single spore powders instead of powders composed of particles of clumped spores. Single spore powders have an infectivity rate up to 20 times that of clumped-spore powders. A single spore powder is achieved through various methods including the addition of dextrin or silicon or silicon compounds. The very fine powder behaves like a gas which penetrates nooks and crannies, anything that is not airtight. Anthrax spores have a diameter of 1.0–1.2 µm and a length of 3–5 µm. When breathed in the spores get lodged in the alveoli of the lungs where they are ingested by white blood cells. These macrophages transport the spores to the lymph nodes where they reproduce and release their toxins. Weaponized anthrax can pass through paper, which happened with the envelopes during the 2001 anthrax attacks against liberal media and Democratic senators who were getting ready to vote on the Patriot Act during George Bush's Presidency.
A 1 kilogram anthrax warhead will kill more people than a 1 kiloton nuclear blast.
Smallpox virus( variola ) is another biological weapon that Korea possesses. Smallpox probably has been genetically engineered to defeat vaccines. Smallpox is spread by droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing, person to person contact, or by bodily fluids on surfaces. It can't remain alive in the environment indefinitely, however. People with smallpox develop pox, which look like pimples. These turn into scabs with time. Smallpox can be transmitted through scabs, and this is one of the crude pathways to weaponization. Several bodily fluids can be used to spread smallpox. The Soviet Union developed an aerosolized version of smallpox from infected chicken eggs requiring refrigerated warheads. This is probably how Korea does it. Symptoms of smallpox include backand muscle pain, fever, malaise, chills, rashes, bumps, blisters, scabs, scars, headache, and vomiting.
Plague( Yersinia Pestis bacterium ) is another biological weapon in Korea's arsenal. Plague, or Black Death, is spread byinfected fleas, rat fleas or human fleas. Historically, Plague has been spread intentionally through rats and catapulting infected bodies over the walls of castles. The Japanese used plague as a biological weapon during World War II by placing infected fleas in canisters of flour and dropping them on the enemy. Rats would eat the flour and catch the infected fleas. Modern weaponized plague is in the form of an aerosolized liquid containing the bacteria. Plague manifests in three forms, pneumonic, bubonic, and septicemic. The symptoms of plague include malaise, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, cough (possibly with blood), enlarged lymph nodes( buboes, hence bubonic plague), puss and bleeding of lymph nodes, blackish skin, headache, fever, stiff neck, seizures, confusion, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, blackened or tarry stool.
Ebola virus is another biological weapon that Korea probably possesses. They mentioned it by name in 2015 when they accused the US of creating it, which means they probably have it. Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever, bleeding from the eyes, ears, and other orifices, and has a very high mortality rate. It is spread through bodily fluids, usually from direct person to person contact. It can be contracted from droplets suspended in the air or from surfaces, but doesn't last long in the environment. Genetic engineering would strive to make it resistant to vaccines, chemicals, and the environment. The main problem with ebola is that it is very fragile. Aerosolizing it would probably damage the virus, and it wouldn't last long in the environment. It's possible that a genetically engineered virus could last longer in a liquid, but you would essentially have to get people to drink it. Ebola's strength is it's ability to spread because of its variable incubation time. Its incubation period varies from person to person, from three days to as long as three weeks. Any attack would probably involve secretly infecting large numbers of people in many cities. Symptoms of ebola infection include headache, fever, fatigue, sore throat, muscle pain, bleeding from eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, rash, diarrhea, vomiting, internal and external bleeding, impaired liver and kidney function.
The Soviet strategy for World War 3 was to attack the survivors with warheads containing several different kinds of biological agents. If a person is infected with multiple viruses and bacteria, several different remedies for each biological agent probably could not be administered at the same time. A cure for one disease could make another disease worse. Injections would have side effects. Several injections could kill. Animals would be infected as well, eliminating the food supply, causing starvation.
Everything this man is wearing should be in your wardrobe.
Korea's Science and Technology Centre
This is what a 60-point implosion system could look like with 5 triangular lenses inside each of the 12 pentagons of a dodecahedron.
An early Fat Man prototype had 60 lenses with 5 diamond shaped lenses inside each of the 12 pentagons of a dodecahedron.
The actual Fat Man bomb had 72 lenses, not the 32 of a soccer ball, with 6 pentagonal lenses inside each of the 12 pentagons of a dodecahedron.
A 92-point implosion system has hexagonal lenses at each of the 60 vertices of a 32-sided soccer ball with a polygon at the centre of each of the 32 soccer ball sides of the same type but rotated by 180(or 36) degrees for the pentagons and 30 degrees for the hexagons.
A 122-point implosion system has polygons at the centre of each of the 32 sides of a soccer ball of the same type, not rotated, and hexagons at all 90 edges of the soccer ball.
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