Kim Jong Un reportedly ordered more rocket engines and warhead tips for his ramped-up intercontinental ballistic missile program.
The state’s official KCNA news agency released the report stating that the communist dictator ordered increased production after visiting the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
“He instructed the institute to produce more solid-fuel rocket engines and rocket warhead tips by further expanding engine production process and the production capacity of rocket warhead tips and engine jets by carbon and carbon compound material,” the report said.
KCNA also released photos showing disturbing diagrams hanging on the wall behind Kim Jong Un when he visited the facility that manufactures the solid-fuel engines for the country’s ballistic missiles.
One of the photos showed a missile called Pukguksong-3, which is likely the latest in the Pukguksong, or Polaris, series. Another missile appeared to be in the Hwasong, or Mars, series.
North Korea will likely follow-up on the two successful ICBM launches it carried out in July — the second being the longest such test in the history of the regime. Officials believe North Korea launched a KN-20 ICBM both times, the launches coming about two weeks apart from one another.
At this point, Kim lacks the materials to gain atmospheric re-entry technology, which would ensure that the missiles withstand the heat and pressure of re-entry while passing through Earth’s atmosphere, Yonhap News Agency reported. The technology is a key part of developing successful ICBMs.
The military exercises have provoked North Korea in the past, but the country’s communist dictator has been especially threatening in the past few months as he repeatedly, and defiantly, tests his nuclear missile program.
The regime threatened “merciless retaliation and unsparing punishment” in response to the “reckless move,” but the U.S. and South Korea kicked off the drills on Monday anyway.
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