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What Next for North Korea’s ICBM

Published by 38 North

By John Schilling

Less than a month after their first successful ICBM test, North Korea has done it again. The missile tested on July 28 appears to be identical to the liquid-fueled KN-20 (Hwasong-14) missile launched on July 4. This missile, however, demonstrated substantially greater range—possibly sufficient to reach the east coast of the United States—but only with a substantially reduced payload. Second, possibly because of the reduced reentry vehicle (RV) weight, the RV appears to have disintegrated before reaching the ground, and thus the test may not have been completely successful. Third, this was the first time the North Koreans have conducted at launch at night, suggesting an emphasis on demonstrating operational rather than experimental launch procedures.

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