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As North Korea Tests ICBM’s, Three other Asian Countries quality develop their own
As North Korea Tests ICBM’s, Three other Asian Countries quality develop their own
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As North Korea Tests ICBM’s, Three other Asian Countries quality develop their own
Forbes 2017-12-o2 15:08:27

 

A man watches a TV screen showing what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. The signs read "Launched Hwasong-15 missile." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
North Korea did it again. Extending a streak of more than 20 missile tests this year, the mysterious totalitarian Asian country said Wednesday it had shot off a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile with the continental United States in mind, according to this Korea Herald report. The hardware that can carry a super-sized nuclear warhead flew at a high arc for 950 kilometers before falling into the East Sea in just under one hour, the report says.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in fumed over test, but he warned against any retaliatory strike. Some analysts say the test marks a failure of U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to stop the tests over most of his 10-month term through a mix of threats and diplomacy around Asia.
But three other Asian countries are also developing these longest of long-range missiles, better known as ICBMs. They just do it more quietly -- and with better results.
China

This Communist bedfellow of North Korea has developed ICBMs since at least 2003. China doesn’t let on the arsenal’s size, but the U.S. Department of Defense estimates as many as 100 ICBMs plus 70 launchers.
The country has a massive staff of educated scientists and its secretive military program is reportedly developing the Dongfeng (East Wind) series that China’s state-controlled Global Times news website calls some of the world’s most advanced. The Dongfeng-41 can hit anything in the world with a range of 14,000 kilometers, the Global Times says, and carry up to 12 nuclear warheads.
China, unlike other countries, may also be selling ICBM technology abroad, including to its tightly allied neighbor Pakistan, says Steve Zaloga, senior missile and UAV analyst with American aerospace market research firm the Teal Group.
India

Policemen accompanied a carrier mounted with an 'Agni-II' Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) during a full dress rehearsal for India's Republic Day parade on January 24, 2002 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Sondeep Shankar/Getty Images)
Since India declared itself a nuclear-enabled country in 1998 to deter neighbors such as old foe Pakistan, it has developed 25 ICBMs and 40 intermediate-range ballistic missiles as of mid-2016, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says. They can carry a combined 328 nuclear warheads, it adds.
India’s buildup may be motivating China to help Pakistan with the same technology, per this news report following a final test firing in January of an Indian Agni-IV long-range missile.
Russia

Like China, Russia maintains fusion, thermonuclear warheads that can “kill cities,” Zaloga says. ICBMs in the decades-year-old Russian program geared to resist the United States are tested about six times per year as the country reaches later stage of a generational upgrade of nuclear forces, according to a Federation of American Scientists paper authored this year. Russia's expanse from Europe into Asia gives it ample long-range testing space.
“For Russia, it is reducing the number of older, Soviet-era ballistic missiles in its inventory to focus on a select number of new systems, including ICBMs,” says Lee Willett, editor of IHS Markit Jane’s Weapons Strategic.

Military specialists walk past a Russian Topol intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at the exposition field in Kubinka Patriot Park outside Moscow on August 22, 2017 (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia had 412 ICBMs and 560 ICBM launchers as of 2012. Worth watching, Willett says, is the RS-28 Sarmat, which may be able to carry between eight and 10 independently targetable warheads, evade defenses and travel around 11,000 kilometers.
Where does North Korea stand?

North Korea’s ICBMs probably lag the others in quality and quantity as the country wants just enough weapons to deter any attacks, scholars believe.
“They are not trying to match our nuclear capability or China or Russia’s,” says Stephen Miles, director of the American foreign policy advocacy group Win Without War. “They appear determined to have a minimum threshold of capability designed to be used as a deterrent against us.”

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