ALERT The Winds of War Blow in Korea and The Far East

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
View: https://twitter.com/SuhBetty/status/1314989569100730368






Betty Suh

@SuhBetty


Marking party's 75th anniversary #KimJongUn offers apologies for not living up to expectations/economic hardships, parades new #ICBM & new #SLBM. Showcasing is one measure in signaling/bargaining - flight-testing would the next step, probably relating to outcome of US elections.

https://twitter.com/SuhBetty/status/1314989569100730368/photo/1

New intercontinental ballistic missile, larger then Hwasong-15 (also paraded, up to 13000km range, last flight-test in Nov 2017); pictures from Rodong Shinmun & NK News.

11:01 AM · Oct 10, 2020·Twitter Web App

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Retweets

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Betty Suh

@SuhBetty


Replying to
@SuhBetty
KJU iterates purposes of #deterrence & #defense (improved posture), not preemption or "aimed at others", emphasizing modernity & continuous military developments. So, promise of showing new strategic weapons fulfilled - paraded in the middle of night, broadcasted later.

https://twitter.com/SuhBetty/status/1314989575513804800/photo/1

Sea-launched ballistic missile, apparent name Pukguksong-4 (Pukguksong-3 tested in Oct 2019 from underwater platform); pictures from Rodong Shinmun & NK News.

11:02 AM · Oct 10, 2020·Twitter Web App
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Hummm.....

Posted for fair use.....

India-ROK: The Search for a Post-Pandemic Comprehensive Partnership


This two-part series discusses India’s ties to North and South Korea as well as strategies for further engagement with the two countries. Part one focused on the status and challenges of India-DPRK relations. This part will address the evolving India-ROK relationship.

India-ROK ties have gained new momentum in the past few years. As part of their “Special Strategic Partnership,” regular dialogue, exchanges of visits and increased trade, economic and defense cooperation are fast becoming commonplace, creating a “new normal” in their bilateral engagement. Looking ahead, the two countries are well-positioned to overcome obstacles on the path to establishing a much deeper relationship.

Impediments to Partnership

Although India and South Korea seek to develop a comprehensive partnership, there are a few impediments they will have to overcome to achieve this goal. First, there are India’s diplomatic ties with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which have led South Korea to adopt a more hesitant approach towards India. Second, India’s commitment to promoting its Special Strategic and Global Partnership with Japan has made the ROK more cautious about viewing India as a partner, given the historical antagonisms between Japan and South Korea. Finally, the ROK’s strong economic relations with China have made Seoul wary of endorsing the Indo-Pacific regional framework and joining any initiatives that are aimed at containing China from Beijing’s perspective. All this said, India and South Korea have numerous opportunities to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

Shifting Regional Dynamics and India-ROK Relations

As two of Asia’s largest economies, the expansion of ties between India and South Korea could contribute significantly to regional peace and security. Until now, their relationships with China, a major trading partner for each, has made them more cautious about adopting an anti-China rhetoric. But the recent downturn in India-China relations and South Korea’s acceptance and participation in the “Quad Plus” (a loosely organized coalition of Australia, India, Japan, the United States, and South Korea) may give both countries diplomatic cover to deepen their bilateral relationship even if that causes greater tensions with China. A stronger and united India-ROK approach towards the PRC would allow both states to develop economic and security models that other Asian nations could follow.

Further, as partners of the US, they can help ensure a sustained American presence in the region via collaboration in various sectors. The “Quad Plus” and the recent invitation by US President Donald Trump to both India and ROK to attend the next Group of Seven (G7) meeting would provide additional opportunities to broaden the scope of India-ROK relations. Moreover, New Delhi has the chance to deepen its partnership with Seoul as a result of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s New Southern Policy (NSP), which prioritizes greater engagement with ASEAN and India and is in strategic alignment with India’s Act East Policy (AEP). Both countries view their ties as a way to promote regional prosperity, peace and security by expanding trade, commerce and supply chain diversification, and cooperation on infrastructure development, defense and digital technology.

Moon’s “New Deal” and India’s Strategic Alignment

Although Seoul’s response to the pandemic has been exemplary, the nation continues to struggle with its economy, which shrunk by 2.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020—the worst since the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis. To overcome the economic setback and create jobs, Moon has announced the “K-New Deal,” which commits a total of 160 trillion won (or $132.6 billion USD) for projects over the next five years. This initiative features a “Digital New Deal” and “Green New Deal,” which offers opportunities for greater interaction and cooperation with India.

India, too, has entered an economic slowdown, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an effort to revive the economy, has advocated greater self-reliance and less dependence on China-driven manufacturing supply chains by boosting domestic production and integrating India with new or emerging global supply chains. The South Korean “New Deal” is in sync with India’s plans for digital innovation, smart cities, foreign direct investment (FDI), strategic trade ties in the region and beyond, domestic defense technology production and sustainable development.

Diversifying Supply Chain Networks and Enhancing Trade

South Korea and India, both anxious over China’s growing assertiveness, are increasingly looking at alternative supply chain networks emerging post-pandemic. As a consequence, both states hope to intensify their trade relationship, which has been somewhat stagnant since the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed in 2009. Over the past decade, India’s trade with South Korea grew from $12 to $21.5 billion USD, but still saw a 6.5 percent increase in its trade deficit with South Korea. In 2018, Modi and Moon agreed on a framework (the Early Harvest Package) to improve trade ties against the backdrop of an escalating US-China trade war. However, difficult negotiations have stalled trade expansion. To boost trade, both states will need to recognize the extent to which increased economic growth can be driven by supply chain diversification and greater foreign direct investment. India’s Korea Plus platform will further these goals by facilitating Korean investments while promoting greater bilateral economic collaboration.

Increased business ties also looking promising. Indian firms like Tata Motors, Mahindra, Novelis, Wipro, L&T and Jindal have a prominent presence in South Korea, while Hyundai, LG Electronics and Kia Motors have built a strong footprint in India. Samsung is reportedly looking at investing almost Rs. 5,370 crore ($706 million USD) in a smartphone manufacturing plant in Uttar Pradesh which will potentially create 1,300 jobs. It is also one of 22 companies that have committed 110 billion rupees ($1.5 billion USD) in cell phone sector production in India. In fact, South Korean Ambassador to India Shin Bong-kil highlighted that Korean conglomerates were increasingly viewing India as a potential site for a second headquarters and many more small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were looking to expand to the Indian market.

Towards Digital Collaboration

The digital sector can also serve as an excellent area for cooperation between the two Asian democracies. Seoul has previously expressed interest in partnering with New Delhi in the digital sector, and Korea has already established itself as a global leader in information and communication technology (ICT). With the digital aspect of the K-New Deal, it seeks to further cement its data, 5G network and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure and create a digitally powered society with an investment of 58.2 trillion won (or $48.6 billion USD) in cutting-edge technology development. India’s initiatives like “Digital India” and “Smart Cities Mission” also look at establishing and upgrading digital infrastructure in the country’s rural and disadvantaged regions. Cooperation can be advanced by boosting these flagship initiatives in areas like digital economy and 5G, smart cities and green innovation.

Deepening Infrastructure Cooperation

Seoul has been increasingly exploring ways to increase its infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region, where connectivity can facilitate cooperative development and aid projects. There are opportunities for India and the ROK, for example, to launch new infrastructural connectivity projects, such as the joint improvement of waterways, shipbuilding and smart transportation, along with maritime safety and security projects like the blue economy and renewable energy. Making more extensive use of platforms such as the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) can help further cooperation by merging initiatives of both countries for mutual benefits—for example, by turning the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and the Kaladan Multi-Modal Project under the ACCC into trilateral ventures between ASEAN, India and South Korea.

Expanded Defense Collaboration

India and South Korea have conducted joint drills in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean maritime regions to improve the security of sea lines of communication. Last July, India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and the ROK’s Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-Doo declared their joint commitment to boost defense industrial and technology cooperation. Artificial intelligence-enabled military technology, in particular, offers promising opportunities for such collaboration. India is the second-largest buyer of weapons from the ROK; its importance to the South Korean defense industry was highlighted by the 10 firms that were represented at the Indian Ministry of Defense’s DefExpo 2020. As India grows, it is likely to purchase large quantities of equipment from Korean companies: It has already inducted Hanwha’s K9 Vajra-T, a self-propelled howitzer, in the Indian Army, 80 percent of which is manufactured in India. Companies such as Hanwha and KIA are reportedly looking to expand collaboration. Defense equipment supply chains can emerge as a key area for both states to reinvigorate their trade and security ties. The 2019 military logistics agreement between them was a step in the right direction.

An India-ROK Green New Deal?

Ecologically sustainable growth is quickly becoming a priority for India, which suffers the most economic losses in the world due to climate change. Recent studies suggest that climate change has stunted India’s economic growth by 31 percent over a 50-year period (1961-2010) and may further wipe out 10 percent of its income by the end of the century. This will impact India’s security environment as well. There are opportunities for expanding India-ROK cooperation in establishing green economies. The K-New Deal highlights advancing technologies for a green transition in key sectors. This includes plans to manufacture 1.13 million electric cars and create 230,000 energy-saving homes amidst an overall aim of shifting to 35 percent renewable energy by 2040. India could not only offer a major market for these products but also potentially provide manufacturing sites as the sector expands. Moreover, there is considerable room for both countries to devise synchronized strategies, share knowledge and build capacity for reducing greenhouse gas emission and boosting sustainable production.

Conclusion

Amidst changing political dynamics in Asia, India and South Korea are looking to carve out a greater role for themselves in establishing peace and security in the region. As South Korea expands its horizons beyond the Korean Peninsula and explores additional avenues for greater involvement within the Indo-Pacific region, India has the potential to emerge as a critical democratic partner.
 

jward

passin' thru
Yes. Looks SS-18 sized or larger. if that is liquid fuelled, I'd be curious to know what fuels they are using.
post 5350 suggests it's largest liquid fueled missile anywhere... .. I've asked about the fuels, before, but if anyone knows, they don't bother telling me...
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
post 5350 suggests it's largest liquid fueled missile anywhere... .. I've asked about the fuels, before, but if anyone knows, they don't bother telling me...
Simplest is LOX and kerosene/RP-1. Alternatively you have LOX and LH2. But when you get into military strategic weapons, the fuels get a lot more exotic and toxic. The oxygen component is often a corrosive and the fuel is a complex and very toxic hydrocarbon. These can be either kept in the missile for long periods of time while it is on alert or can be quickly pumped into the missile prior to launch, particularly if it is a mobile system.

See this for more.....

6. PROPELLANTS

from:

SPACE HANDBOOK:
ASTRONAUTICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS

Mr. McCORMACK, Chairman of the Select Committee on Astronautics
and Space Exploration, submitted the following
STAFF REPORT
[Pursuant to H. Res. 496 (85th Cong.)]
 

jward

passin' thru
Simplest is LOX and kerosene/RP-1. Alternatively you have LOX and LH2. But when you get into military strategic weapons, the fuels get a lot more exotic and toxic. The oxygen component is often a corrosive and the fuel is a complex and very toxic hydrocarbon. These can be either kept in the missile for long periods of time while it is on alert or can be quickly pumped into the missile prior to launch, particularly if it is a mobile system.

See this for more.....

6. PROPELLANTS

from:

SPACE HANDBOOK:
ASTRONAUTICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS

Mr. McCORMACK, Chairman of the Select Committee on Astronautics
and Space Exploration, submitted the following
STAFF REPORT
[Pursuant to H. Res. 496 (85th Cong.)]
Thank you. I didn't mean you didn't inform me, rather a couple of those who's work we follow to compile these threads.
..You're always more than generous, o' course : )
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
First take from the defense writers......

Posted for fair use.....

North Korea creates its own version of Russian Armata tank

NewsArmyPhoto
By Dylan Malyasov

Oct 10, 2020

Modified date: 21 seconds ago


North Korea has unveiled an advanced version of its main battle tank during a massive military parade and public rally in Pyongyang early on Saturday marking the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party.

The unusual predawn parade occurred in the North Korean capital Pyongyang early on Saturday marking the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party.

For the first time, were displayed the new modification of local-made main battle tanks is similar to Russia’s Armata main battle tanks by their visual design.

Photographs of the new tank look remarkably like those of a Russian-produced Armata. The design of the tank has many similarities and repeats the image presented at the military parade in Moscow in 2019 and 2020.

Reportedly, the upgraded North-Korea tank received a new reactive armor system, a new anti-tank missile system, and some experts indicate the possible installation of an active protection system.

If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.

Executive Editor


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Pakistan’s VT4 main battle tank acquisition confirmed
 

jward

passin' thru
Ankit Panda
@nktpnd

9h

#NorthKorea parade “strategic” cheat sheet: — New, super-large liquid-propellant, 2 (?) stage ICBM (probable Hwasong-16/probable KN27) — Pukguksong-4A: new SLBM; first North Korean missile with an indigenous suffixed designator — WS51200-derived Hwasong-15 TELs remain at four (?)

Ankit Panda
@nktpnd

9h

What we *didn’t* see: — Solid-propellant ICBM — Mobile-erector-launchers for strategic missiles — Huge quantitative growth in ICBM/IRBM-class TELs — *Evidence* of a multiple warhead capability* * the new missile is, though, large enough to accommodate MRVs.
 

AlfaMan

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Simplest is LOX and kerosene/RP-1. Alternatively you have LOX and LH2. But when you get into military strategic weapons, the fuels get a lot more exotic and toxic. The oxygen component is often a corrosive and the fuel is a complex and very toxic hydrocarbon. These can be either kept in the missile for long periods of time while it is on alert or can be quickly pumped into the missile prior to launch, particularly if it is a mobile system.

See this for more.....

6. PROPELLANTS

from:

SPACE HANDBOOK:
ASTRONAUTICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS

Mr. McCORMACK, Chairman of the Select Committee on Astronautics
and Space Exploration, submitted the following
STAFF REPORT
[Pursuant to H. Res. 496 (85th Cong.)]
I don't think DPRK is making hypergolic fuels. Even if they used it to fuel this monster ICBM, tank corrosion would be a serious issue. I seriously doubt DPRK could safely handle liquid hydrogen either. An RP-1/LOX combo is most likely.
That TEL (transporter/erector/launcher) looks like an upsized SS-25 unit. Does North Korea have a road system stressed for that amount of weight?
 

jward

passin' thru
Nathan J Hunt
@ISNJH


Replying to
@nktpnd
They have been doing musical chairs with those chassis, this new TEL is basically the Standard HS-15 TEL with extension on back and new cab type.

Ankit Panda
@nktpnd


Yeah. But if they only had 6, raises questions about where the new axles/wheels were sourced. The cab has a MAZ-543 quality to it, but need to look closer.
 

jward

passin' thru
North Korea unlikely to fire new 'monster' ICBM before US election
Pyongyang inclined to wait with Washington distracted by pandemic and campaign

Kim gave an address during the event, in which the new weapon was unveiled. (KCNA/Kyodo)
ANDREW SHARP, Nikkei Asia deputy politics and economics editorOctober 11, 2020 01:39 JST

TOKYO -- North Korea revealed Saturday what appears to be its biggest intercontinental ballistic missile to date, but analysts say the isolated nation is unlikely to test the device any time soon.
At a parade overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, the country unveiled an ICBM carried on a mobile erector launcher with 22 wheels, bigger than the vehicle that transported the Hwasong-15 missile -- North Korea's most powerful tested weapon -- in a February 2018 parade.
But with the U.S. distracted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Nov. 3 presidential election, Pyongyang watchers say they don't see any reason for the Kim regime to provoke the old enemy until after the next American leader is chosen.

"The new ICBM is a monster. Much larger than the Hwasong-15," Melissa Hanham, deputy director of Vienna-based Open Nuclear Network, told Nikkei Asia. "But historically they show off design models long before testing."
The Hwasong-15's estimated range is 13,000 km, making it capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the U.S. mainland.
"Since the Hwasong-15 can already target anywhere in the U.S. mainland, this missile is about carrying more payload the same distance," Hanham added. "This likely means they are developing this missile to be able to deliver multiple nuclear warheads to the U.S."

The show of strength comes amid strained relations with Seoul, but also during a period of relative calm with Washington. U.S. President Donald Trump has refrained from attacking Kim in recent months, and in September retweeted a BBC story on the North Korean leader apologizing to South Korean President Moon Jae-in over the killing of a fisheries official from the South in its waters last month.

In 2017, North Korea test-fired dozens of missiles, including an ICBM that Kim claimed could strike anywhere in the U.S.
Even though denuclearization talks are at deadlock with Washington and Seoul, the coming election in the U.S. is not necessarily grounds for a fresh provocation. Indeed, in a speech at the parade, Kim promised to boost military power, but said the country would not use it unless it was threatened.
"The Trump administration is distracted and disinterested in North Korea right now. The political value of testing after the election is greater," Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told Nikkei. "Parades don't necessarily portend launches. It's possible they may return to testing but it's not clear the pre-U.S. election payoff will be great."

"The parade," Panda said, "reminds the U.S. and the outside world that North Korea continues to be able to modernize and grow its military capabilities, seemingly unencumbered by sanctions."
Duyeon Kim, an analyst at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security, said the size of the ICBM pointed to North Korea's intent to perfect a much bigger missile that can more easily reach the U.S. mainland.
But, she added, "Kim's speech was tame, low key, and seemed to almost deliberately avoid provoking Trump before the election, while achieving domestic aims to strengthen unity.
"Still, the military parade spoke volumes. It showcased a lot of weapons -- new ones, wide variety, and emphasized capability -- that can target South Korea, are maneuverable, and difficult for the U.S. to preemptively strike and intercept."

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Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
I don't think DPRK is making hypergolic fuels. Even if they used it to fuel this monster ICBM, tank corrosion would be a serious issue. I seriously doubt DPRK could safely handle liquid hydrogen either. An RP-1/LOX combo is most likely.
That TEL (transporter/erector/launcher) looks like an upsized SS-25 unit. Does North Korea have a road system stressed for that amount of weight?
The road system and its weight limits are a good question. If they're looking to play "hide and seek" either they have to have a wide enough selection of available roads and bridges to keep from being cornered and or the rail, tunnel and bridge system has to be up to it.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment






Markus Schiller

@RocketSchiller

·
2h

So you can’t move this thing fueled, and you can’t fill it at the launch site. This thing makes absolutely no sense at all, except for threat equation games, like sending the message of “we now have a mobile ICBM with MIRVs, be very afraid”.

Man shrugging

3/3






Show this thread






Markus Schiller

@RocketSchiller

·
2h

Adding the TEL weight, only special roads and bridges could support this in fueled condition. And no sane person would drive this ticking bomb through the North Korean countryside. But fueling this behemoth would probably take half a day, and several large tanker trucks. 2/3






Show this thread






Markus Schiller

@RocketSchiller

·
2h

Ok, just one quick thought. This thing is HUGE. If
@DavidLaBoon
is right, it is 24-25 m long, with ~2.5 m diameter. It’s road-mobile, with two stages, therefore storable liquids tech, so it should weigh in at ~120 t launch mass, with 100+ t of hypergolic propellants. 1/2
 

jward

passin' thru
Thread unroll on twitter from Professor at @miis, staff at @jamesmartincns, and host of The Deal (@irandealpodcast) and @acwpodcast. Pondering what Tom Lehrer called "universal bereavement".

North Korea's new ICBM is much larger than the Hwasong-15 ICBM (~2 m in diameter). Here are two stills from the parade that help illustrate the difference.

The truck ("transporter-erector-launcher" or TEL) is new. In December, @kyodo_english reported that Kim "ordered the mass production of vehicles used for transporting and launching missiles including [ICBMs]" using imported parts. Looks like it worked.


North Korea mass producing ballistic missile transporters: sources North Korean leader Kim Jong Un around February 2018 ordered the mass production of vehicles used for transporting and launching missiles including intercontinental ballistic missiles, Kyodo News has … North Korea mass producing ballistic missile transporters: sources

@mentions and I previously documented the expansion of the March 16 Factory for producing these vehicles.


New construction seen at missile-related site in North Korea SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A new satellite image of a factory where North Korea makes military equipment used to launch long-range missiles shows the construction of a new structure. New construction seen at missile-related site in North Korea

The large diameter means the missile has a bundle of either two or (less likely) three RD250-like engines. (Each engine has a pair of combustion chambers fed from one turbo pump.) That's a lot of oomph -- plenty for multiple warheads.

This is exactly how I am thinking about the problem, but said more directly and clearly.
The point is that North Korea is clearly aimed at overwhelming the US missile defense system in Alaska. This is completely predictable because its much cheaper for North Korea to add warheads than for the US to add interceptors.

If each new North Korean ICBM can carry 3-4 warheads, we would need about 12-16 interceptors for each missile. (The GMD system salvo fires 4 interceptors at each warhead.) The last time the US bought 14 interceptors, it cost ... $1 billion.
archive.defense.gov/Transcripts/Tr…

So each one of these missiles that North Korea builds will cost the US about $1 billion to defend against. At that cost, I am pretty sure North Korea can add warheads faster than we can add interceptors.
 

jward

passin' thru
Is it possible that they intend to keep it hidden in the tunnels, fuel it horizontally during crisis, and then drive out of the tunnel just far enough so it's safe to launch, erect it, (vehicle drives back in the tunnel) and let crew in bunny suits to launch it?




Markus Schiller
@RocketSchiller

·
2h

So you can’t move this thing fueled, and you can’t fill it at the launch site. This thing makes absolutely no sense at all, except for threat equation games, like sending the message of “we now have a mobile ICBM with MIRVs, be very afraid”.


3/3





Show this thread


Markus Schiller
@RocketSchiller

·
2h

Adding the TEL weight, only special roads and bridges could support this in fueled condition. And no sane person would drive this ticking bomb through the North Korean countryside. But fueling this behemoth would probably take half a day, and several large tanker trucks. 2/3





Show this thread


Markus Schiller
@RocketSchiller

·
2h

Ok, just one quick thought. This thing is HUGE. If
@DavidLaBoon
is right, it is 24-25 m long, with ~2.5 m diameter. It’s road-mobile, with two stages, therefore storable liquids tech, so it should weigh in at ~120 t launch mass, with 100+ t of hypergolic propellants. 1/2
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Thread unroll on twitter from Professor at @miis, staff at @jamesmartincns, and host of The Deal (@irandealpodcast) and @acwpodcast. Pondering what Tom Lehrer called "universal bereavement".

North Korea's new ICBM is much larger than the Hwasong-15 ICBM (~2 m in diameter). Here are two stills from the parade that help illustrate the difference.

The truck ("transporter-erector-launcher" or TEL) is new. In December, @kyodo_english reported that Kim "ordered the mass production of vehicles used for transporting and launching missiles including [ICBMs]" using imported parts. Looks like it worked.


North Korea mass producing ballistic missile transporters: sources North Korean leader Kim Jong Un around February 2018 ordered the mass production of vehicles used for transporting and launching missiles including intercontinental ballistic missiles, Kyodo News has … North Korea mass producing ballistic missile transporters: sources

@mentions and I previously documented the expansion of the March 16 Factory for producing these vehicles.


New construction seen at missile-related site in North Korea SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A new satellite image of a factory where North Korea makes military equipment used to launch long-range missiles shows the construction of a new structure. New construction seen at missile-related site in North Korea

The large diameter means the missile has a bundle of either two or (less likely) three RD250-like engines. (Each engine has a pair of combustion chambers fed from one turbo pump.) That's a lot of oomph -- plenty for multiple warheads.

This is exactly how I am thinking about the problem, but said more directly and clearly.


The point is that North Korea is clearly aimed at overwhelming the US missile defense system in Alaska. This is completely predictable because its much cheaper for North Korea to add warheads than for the US to add interceptors.

If each new North Korean ICBM can carry 3-4 warheads, we would need about 12-16 interceptors for each missile. (The GMD system salvo fires 4 interceptors at each warhead.) The last time the US bought 14 interceptors, it cost ... $1 billion.
archive.defense.gov/Transcripts/Tr…

So each one of these missiles that North Korea builds will cost the US about $1 billion to defend against. At that cost, I am pretty sure North Korea can add warheads faster than we can add interceptors.
"So each one of these missiles that North Korea builds will cost the US about $1 billion to defend against. At that cost, I am pretty sure North Korea can add warheads faster than we can add interceptors."

This has always been the challenge with ABM systems......ETA: and why there have been plans to "miiv" them which have been shot down repeatedly by opponents.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Is it possible that they intend to keep it hidden in the tunnels, fuel it horizontally during crisis, and then drive out of the tunnel just far enough so it's safe to launch, erect it, (vehicle drives back in the tunnel) and let crew in bunny suits to launch it?
All depends on the structural make-up of the missile body. That was one of the basing methods the PRC first used.
 

jward

passin' thru
Kim Jong Un Just Showed The World The War Machine He Built While Feinting Diplomacy
A giant new intercontinental ballistic missile was just one of the many revelations from the remarkably well-produced showcase of authoritarian might.
ByTyler RogowayOctober 10, 2020
NK Korean State News

Tyler RogowayView Tyler Rogoway's Articles
Aviation_Intel
On Saturday, October 10th, 2020, North Korea put on its first publicized military parade in years. Taking place at night in and over a revamped Kim Il Sung Square and celebrating the 75th anniversary of the country's ruling Workers' Party of Korea, the spectacle was unlike any we have seen before. It represented an almost laughable, but terrifying juxtaposition of perceptions. For a country that is supposedly reeling from years of sanctions, with its dire economic situation only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, what was displayed was entirely the opposite. A dizzying array of new advanced weaponry was unveiled to the world, more than we have ever seen before. Even the perception of North Korea as a dark country as a result of never-ending energy deficits was slashed with bright and colorful lights, including warplanes zooming overhead decorated with neon-colors. All this has come after years of Kim feinting a new era of diplomacy to his gullible adversaries who have become drunk of wishful thinking.

Kim Jong Un Ends Testing Moratorium And Threatens To Unveil New "Strategic Weapon" (Updated)By Tyler Rogoway Posted in The War Zone
North Korea Parade Strikes Lighter Tone, But Still No Evidence Kim Intends To Give Up NukesBy Joseph Trevithick Posted in The War Zone
When It Comes To The Demise Of Kim Jong Un, Be Careful What You Wish ForBy Tyler Rogoway Posted in The War Zone
Trump Was Right To Walk On Kim, But Foolish To Have Gone To Hanoi In The First PlaceBy Tyler Rogoway Posted in The War Zone
Analyzing North Korea's Missile Parade: Prescription For Fear, Dose Of RealityBy Tyler Rogoway Posted in The War Zone

It cannot be underestimated what we just saw. Many will say that it is all for show— some of it is—but the realities of recent history run quite counter to the assumption that the weapons shown are hollow effigies of the real McCoy. In fact, such a view has become laughably dated and downright inaccurate. When it comes to weapons development, under the Kim Jung Un regime, the proof has very much been in the pudding. The level of candor regarding his military technology ambitions has been striking in its honesty and accuracy. Those who chronically underestimated North Korea are living in the past.
The Hermit Kingdom has proven to be amazingly resourceful under the Kim Jong Un and has delivered capabilities many hung their careers on claiming could only be obtained far in the future. This is something The War Zone warned about years ago, and we were proven to be all too correct, unfortunately.

NK State Media Screencap
Let's get to what was shown. We need to start with the two big strategic developments. A handful of absolutely massive new intercontinental ballistic missiles were rolled through Kim Il Sung Square. This would be the third iteration of the ICBM concept for the North Koreans, having already unveiled and tested the Hwasong HS-14 and HS-15 in 2017. This new missile looks to be a significant outgrowth of the already monstrous HS-15, which is suspected of being able to reach pretty much anywhere in the United States, although its terminal delivery capabilities remain a puzzle, as is the case for the HS-14 and other longer-range ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead in Pyongyang's arsenal.
It isn't clear if this is just a longer-ranged, more advanced evolution of the prior design, or if this is intended to deliver a heavier payload, as well, namely multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs).

Beyond this new weapon's capabilities, the biggest question is where did North Korea get the transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) to haul around such a giant ICBM. The previous TEL for the HS-15 had nine axles, this one has 11. The previous TEL is thought to have been acquired from China and modified. It isn't clear if these have a similar chain of custody or if North Korea is actually manufacturing its own massive TELs now, which almost seems likely at this point if this is missile it wants to produce going forward.

There is the question of just how mobile an 11 axle TEL carrying this wide of a missile really is. These would likely be used to roll out of hardened and hidden shelters to predetermined firing points that don't have obstacles that could block their path. In other words, they wouldn't just roam freely. Although we need a bit more time to research it to claim this unequivocally, we do believe this is one of, if not the largest road-mobile liquid-fueled missiles on earth. All of the other Hwasong series missiles have been liquid-fueled, but it is possible that this is a hybrid missile, with a top stage being solid fuel, as well. North Korea has made considerable advances in solid fuel rocket propulsion in recent years.

The strategic implications of this weapon are large for a number of reasons. Its existence points to a need for flight testing, which could see those types of provocative activities return to our reality. More than that, they underscore just how hard North Korea has continued to work on its strategic programs long after a new era in diplomacy was declared. Nearly three years is a long time. This is a manifestation of what they have been up to while the love affair between Trump and Kim has been ongoing even though the regime has never shown one iota of intention of giving up its nuclear stockpile or the delivery systems that underpin it.

Arguably just as impactful as the new ICBM is the reveal of the Pukguksong-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The inclusion of these weapons is another indication that North Korea has shifted considerable resources to developing some type of submarine-borne second-strike deterrent. We have seen the reworked Soviet-era sub they are adapting for this role, at least as an interim solution, and the country has tested a new submarine-launched ballistic missile during this period of diplomatic detente.

It's also worth noting that the solid fuel Pukguksong-2 SLBM was supposedly adapted to create the KN-15 road-mobile short to medium-range ballistic missile. There is no reason to think they won't adapt this more advanced variant to a ground-launched form, also. Solid fuel ballistic missiles are far harder to counter prior to launch as they take no time to fuel before being fired. The KN-15 was also on display during the parade.


NK State Media Screencap
Developments on the tactical side of North Korea's missile equation are just as stunning. North Korea paraded a host of its new generation of very large rocket artillery systems. These border on the tactical ballistic missile definition, to some degree, and are meant to rain warheads down deep inside South Korean territory during the opening stages of a conflict. North Korea's rapid development and fielding of these jumbo rocket artillery systems have changed the risk equation for South Korea. Whereas areas not too far from the DMZ, including part of Seoul, were at risk of artillery bombardment in the past, that zone now pushes far deeper to the south as a result of these systems, all of which are new or developed relatively recently. These systems are also less costly and challenging for North Korea to build compared to their strategic counterparts, so serial production can be realized on a far greater scale.
While capabilities range in relation to size, up to a supersized ATCMs-like a quasi-ballistic missile, to 600mm guided rockets, to smaller diameter, long-range artillery rockets, the message is clear: the game has changed when it comes to the threat posed by North Korean artillery.



KCNA
As with the TEL for the new ICBM, it's also interesting to note how many different tracked and wheeled chassis North Korea is using for these rocket artillery systems and tactical ballistic missiles. If these are domestically-produced designs, it could further speak to a significant of the country's automotive and heavy machinery industries.
 

jward

passin' thru
*Continued

North Korea also showed off some new air defense systems, including one that appears to be built for point defense and similar to the Russian Tor system. Larger S-300-like missile TELs were also present, likely related to the KN-06 family of SAMs. Modernization of North Korea's air defense systems has been elevated in recent years at it remains one of the country's weakest military capability sets. As it sits now, North Korea is highly vulnerable to enemy air operations. The U.S. and South Korea train daily on how to quickly dismantle what exists of the North Korean air defense network, but the advent of new indigenous systems complicates those war plans, at least to some degree.

Now to armor. North Korea really stunned in this regard, unveiling a number of new armored vehicles, the most impressive of which is a brand new main battle tank. As you can see, the design is quite modern in outward appearance, with integrated systems embedded into its design, not just tacked on after the fact. These including anti-tank missile launchers mounted on the sides of the turret. The tank alone is worth its own analysis piece. It is quite remarkable North Korea was able to come up with this, although what chassis and drivetrain lie beneath its skin is a big question.


NK State Media Screencap

Another unveil was this wheeled armored vehicle that appears to feature an eight-round loitering munition launcher. This type of weapon is changing the battlefield as it can fly out to a target area, briefly surveil it, and then strike a target of opportunity with pinpoint precision. Israel largely pioneered this technology with their Spike NLOS series of weapons. North Korea seems to have taken note. Such a system is extremely relevant for combat operations along the DMZ.
An 8x8 wheeled mobile gun system also made an appearance. This is an entirely new capability for North Korea and allows for higher-speed mobility for a large direct-fire weapon compared to its tracked counterparts. Similar arrangements have become popular around the world, including in the U.S. with the M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System.

There is also an 8x8 armored vehicle that is designed to host anti-tank guided missiles, which is new. The two together would provide a highly agile anti-armor capability.
North Korean soldiers themselves have received a number of new uniforms, many of them modernized to including digital camouflage, such as this caped look:

We also got to see these guys in what appear to be hybrid ghillie suits.


NK State Media Screencap
North Korean chemical weapons troops looking ripped right from a dystopian science fiction movie.


NK State Media Screencap
The black-clad troops appear to be some sort of federal unit.


NK State Media Screencap
North Korean special operations forces are seen here with suppressors and more modern accouterments.

The aerial side was especially unique. Although nothing new was displayed, the North Korean Air Force equipped its most modern aircraft with LED lights to make them glow and did massive flare dumps over the square.


The two main tactical types that took part in the display were the MiG-29 and Su-25, but what has to be underlined here is that we saw seven MiG-29s flying at one time. That may sound comical, but the reality is that North Korea's MiG-29s, which are decades old as it is, are a highly limited resource for the North Korean Air Force. They are primarily tasked with protecting Pyongyang and depending on the source, anywhere from a dozen to two dozen are still anywhere near to flying form, with only a fraction of those being actually mission capable at any given time. The most we have ever seen in the air at one time was six, so even the addition of one airframe is worth noting.
The aerial display itself was quite remarkable. Incorporating LED light strips on combat aircraft is not an established practice. It may seem easy, but it really isn't. Securing them in such a way that they won't damage the aircraft if they come loose, especially considering how few of these planes North Korea has, would have been a critical task. The production of the flying segment, with the video leading up to it and in the air, likely filmed during previous practice flights and then cut into the performance, was remarkably high-grade.

There was much more to see, including many tears and longing looks of admiration from the troops, attending officials, and the crow towards Kim Jong Un. Many existing systems also made an appearance, BM-25 Musudan ballistic missiles, anti-ship coastal defense systems, and others. One that puzzled us was this TEL with elongated tubes. Is this a new long-range anti-ship or land-attack cruise missile system, some type of long-range SAM? We don't know at this time.


NK State Media Screencap
While some will argue that we don't know how many of these systems North Korea actually has, that really isn't the point. They have developed these new capabilities at considerable cost. There is little reason to do that beyond some abstract propaganda value, without having at least some intention into putting it into larger production to some degree, or at least learning from its development and testing. The truth is this kind of debate is antiquated. As we mentioned earlier, North Korea under Kim Jong Un has been far more straight forward with its military technology ambitions than in the past. The ballistic missiles displayed in recent years have proven to be real. By and large, the ground vehicles have, as well. With this in mind, it is somewhat astonishing to see just how far the country has gotten when it comes to conventional modernization and new strategic capabilities under such extreme circumstances.


Even putting on this scale of display alone, a remarkable investment in resources during especially challenging economic times, says a lot. While the citizens of North Korea are suffering, Kim's military apparatus appears to be thriving. And even though the testing of long-range ballistic missiles may have subsided during this hollow excursion into detente between North Korea, the United States, and South Korea, the regime has only accelerated further development of its strategic systems and refined its ability to manufacture them in a serial nature.
These kinds of displays of military might are often a vision of where North Korea wants to be in the near term. Kim knows full well that the second the U.S. comes to its senses, either by a change in Presidents through the election or if Trump finally sours to Kim's ridiculous platitudes, his country will have a far more mature strategic arsenal to deploy and test, as well as an updated conventional one.
Unsurprisingly, it looks more and more like this was the plan all along.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com


some photos available at site of article
posted for fair use
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
First take from the defense writers......

Posted for fair use.....

North Korea creates its own version of Russian Armata tank

NewsArmyPhoto
By Dylan Malyasov

Oct 10, 2020

Modified date: 21 seconds ago


North Korea has unveiled an advanced version of its main battle tank during a massive military parade and public rally in Pyongyang early on Saturday marking the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party.

The unusual predawn parade occurred in the North Korean capital Pyongyang early on Saturday marking the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party.

For the first time, were displayed the new modification of local-made main battle tanks is similar to Russia’s Armata main battle tanks by their visual design.

Photographs of the new tank look remarkably like those of a Russian-produced Armata. The design of the tank has many similarities and repeats the image presented at the military parade in Moscow in 2019 and 2020.

Reportedly, the upgraded North-Korea tank received a new reactive armor system, a new anti-tank missile system, and some experts indicate the possible installation of an active protection system.

If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.

Executive Editor


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T-14 vs T-90







Posted for fair use.....

Intersting size comparison between a T-72 in drag (some call it T-90) and the T-14 Armata, currently under developement.
Until the T-14, russian MBT were deliberately made as small as possible, ranging from the T-54 to the T-90.
Appart from making the tank (theoretically) more difficult to hit, this also allowed the tank to be much lighter and less demanding on ressources. Furthermore, the small turret could be made to the most optimal (in terms of ballistic protection) shape possible.
Unfortunately, there were a few drawbacks:
Due to the small size, interoiur space was very crammed, although that wasn't considered a problem as there were a lot of smaller-built people within the USSR who could man the tanks in bearable comfort. Unlike the NVA, which
encountered serious problems fitting it's large citizens into the T-72s.
Also related to the size, ammo capacity was smaller than in western tanks, internal fuel was very limmited (nececitating external storage) but most of all, IF the tank got penetrated, the offending shell would pretty much allways hit either ammo ot fuel, resulting in catastrophic fires or deflagrations (visible by the many destroyed T-72s with blown-off turrets, as there were no blow-offf panels).
One intersting side-note is, that the legacy tanks were very labour intensive to maintain and repair.
As the Sovjet Union expected to advance, they reckoned that dammaged tanks could be collected in relative calm after the battle and repaired in the rear aereas whilst the vast number of replacement tanks filled the depleeted ranks. The comperatively rare western tanks could not afford to be out of action for long.
All consiedered, despite the poor performance against western-made tanks, the legacy MBTs were capable and good tanks, fitting well into the doctrin of the Sovjet Union's military. The poor showing can be attributed to poorly trained crews and tactics.
With the T-14 the designers broke with this "tradition" of smallish MBT, instead following the western design philosophy of large, roomy (relative) and expensive tanks.
Yet far from beeing a copy, the T-14 experiments with many new ideas, beeing a genuinly new design.
The 3-man crew sits side-by-side in an armoured compartment at the front, beeing separated from both fuel and ammo and the gun. The turret is unmanned and canot be accessed by the crew from inside.
This idea (unmanned turret) isn't new, the West experimented with it in the 70's and 80's but didn't reckon it to be worth the disadvantages inherent in such a design, namely the very poor situational awareness due to complete reliance on cameras and periscopes.
Whilst the T-14 obviousely is sekrit teknology, experts believe it to feature no less than 1.1m of frontal armour (lol), at a weight of just 50 tonnes. only slightly heavier than a T-90, but obviousely beeing far larger. This indicates that other aereas of the vehicle are likely thinly armoured, especially the turret, potentially rendering the tank vulnerable to so called "firepower-kill", e.g. knocking -out of the main gun.
I shall be very intrigued as to what the final production T-14 will look like, and if it will be more affordable than the current examples at 6.5 million USD a pop.





 
Last edited:

jward

passin' thru
North Korea Unveils Two New Strategic Missiles in October 10 Parade
By: Vann H. Van Diepen and Michael Elleman

As widely expected, North Korea unveiled new missile capabilities during its military parade on October 10, marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers Party.[1] But the specific new missiles revealed were a surprise: a road-mobile, liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) much larger than previously known North Korean systems and a new solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).


This paper provides an initial assessment of each of the two missiles based on the limited information currently available. Parading these two systems around has an obvious political messaging component; however, operationally, the rationale for such a very large ICBM is unclear and the new SLBM would only add marginally at best to the already sizable regional threat from North Korea’s land-based missiles.


The New ICBM

(Source: KCTV via Martyn Williams)
The new ICBM, presumably a Hwasong-16, appears to be approximately 25-26 m long and 2.5-2.9 m in diameter—about 4-4.5 m longer and about 0.5 m larger in diameter than the North’s Hwasong-15 ICBM flight tested once in November 2017. Indeed, the new missile has been correctly characterized as the world’s largest mobile ICBM—in part because countries with ICBMs generally seek to make their road-mobile ICBMs smaller so they can be more mobile and concealable.


That said, we estimate the new missile’s launch weight at roughly 100,000-150,000 kg, compared to some 80,000 kg for the Chinese DF-41 solid-propellant, road-mobile ICBM and about 104,000 kg for the former Soviet SS-24 rail-mobile solid ICBM.


The first stage of the new ICBM appears large enough in diameter to accommodate four of the Soviet RD-250-sized rocket engines believed to power the Hwasong-15 (which uses two in its first stage). The number and type of engine used in its presumed second stage are unclear, making the new missile’s throw-weight capability uncertain. Based on the assumption of four RD-250-type engines in the first stage, however, we estimate the new missile could, in principle, deliver 2,000-3,500 kg of payload to any point in the continental United States—much greater than the Hwasong-15’s assessed 1,000 kg payload capability to the same range.


But why would the North Korean’s need or want such a big missile? Especially since the Hwasong-15 would appear to have sufficient range/payload capability and room for improvement to meet North Korea’s operational targeting needs, and is much easier to move and conceal. There are two main possibilities, which are not mutually exclusive.


First, there may be a political rationale for producing or parading the new system. An unexpected “super heavy” ICBM would be a classically Khrushchevian[2] statement of North Korea’s technical prowess, the robustness of its ability to threaten the US,[3] and the permanence of its nuclear weapons status. It is worth noting that there has been no open-source evidence that the new ICBM’s apparent first-stage propulsion system has been ground-tested, and one analyst has that “no North Korean ICBM design that was *first seen at a parade* has seen flight-testing to date.”


Second, there may be operational reasons to make such a large missile. The North may want to be able (or to be seen as able) to deliver a much larger payload to anywhere in the US.


In terms of larger payloads, the North may be working toward developing multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs). Perhaps the North’s current nuclear RVs are larger and heavier than we expect, and so the Hwasong-15 cannot carry enough such RVs along with the size of post-boost vehicle (PBV) the North currently can provide to dispense them. Or perhaps the Hwasong-15 can be MIRVed but the North wants to be able to deliver more MIRVs per booster.


It should be noted that North Korea has not demonstrated a militarily useful MIRV capability, which is technically demanding. For example, it has yet to flight test a PBV, much less the deployment of MIRVs from a PBV. Given the technical demands of MIRVs, it might instead first deploy non-independently targetable Multiple Reentry Vehicles (MRVs) like the US, USSR, and UK did. Even in this case, the North might want more payload capability to deploy more or larger MRVs.


Another reason for having a bigger payload capacity is the desire to carry more and/or more RV-like (heavier) decoys to spoof US missile defenses than is possible with the Hwasong-15. Alternatively, the North may have decided that it wanted to possess or portray the capability to deliver a “super heavy” single large thermonuclear RV against US cities for political or deterrent effect. While this also is Khrushchevian in nature, one should recall that the Soviet SS-18, Chinese CSS-4 and US Titan-II ICBMs were deployed with massive single RVs having up to 9 megatons of yield.[4]


Another size-related question raised by the new ICBM is: why make it road-mobile? Here, too, there could be a political component; after all, it is the world’s biggest mobile ICBM. But to the extent the North truly intends to deploy this system, it would almost certainly judge that road-mobile basing would be more survivable than silo- or other fixed-basing, even though the sheer size and weight of the new ICBM would render it less mobile than the Hwasong-15 and more constrained in the portions of the road network it could use, (limited to smooth, paved roadways), and probably needing to fuel the missile after it was erected at a launch site (adding to vulnerability and reducing response time).


The New SLBM

(Source: KCNA)
We have not been able to estimate the dimensions of the new “Pukguksong-4” SLBM from the currently available images; one analyst suggests it may be the same size as the current Pukguksong-3/KN-26. The missile’s short-and-wide appearance makes sense given the constraints of a submarine launch tube, especially for the size of submarine North Korea probably would be using.


At least portions of the missile’s motor case appear to be filament-wound, a technology the North Koreans previously have suggested they possess. If the entire motor case were so constructed, that would reduce the missile’s structure weight and allow greater range/payload capability.


The North Koreans presumably intend for the new SLBM to have greater range than the 1,900 km estimated for their most recently tested SLBM (albeit fired from a test barge, not a submarine), the Pukguksong-3/KN-26. If the new SLBM uses a larger solid-fuel motor than the Pukguksong-3, there is no open source evidence that motor has been ground tested. If the new SLBM is intended to be deployed, it may be intended for the new conventionally powered ballistic missile submarine that North Korea hinted at building in July 2019.[5]


The military significance of the new SLBM will turn on its range capability: The longer the range, the closer to North Korean military protection its launching submarine can remain and still hit regional targets. We presume the Pukguksong-4 will not have sufficient range to strike Guam, Hawaii or the US West Coast without a vulnerable transit.


In any case, as noted elsewhere, this missile could provide only a marginal addition to the threat posed by the North’s much larger, increasingly longer range and much more survivable land-based ballistic missile force.


  1. [1]
    Simon Denyer and Min Joo Kim, “North Korea Parades Huge, New ICBM, But Kim Jong Un Stresses Deterrent Nature,” The Washington Post, October 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/northkorea-military-parade-missile-icbm/2020/10/10/f6f13a74-0869-11eb-8719-0df159d14794_story.html.
  2. [2]
    From the mid-1950s to early 1960s, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev tried to compensate for what he knew to be the USSR’s nuclear inferiority by staging bomber fly-bys with the same small number of aircraft fly over again and again to portray having a large bomber force, ordering the testing of a 50 megaton nuclear device that was not reflective of actual deployable weapons, etc.
  3. [3]
    Simon Denyer and Min Joo Kim.
  4. [4]
    See Missile Defense Project, “SS-18 ‘Satan,’” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 10, 2016, last modified June 15, 2018, SS-18 "Satan" | Missile Threat; Missile Defense Project, “DF-5 (Dong Feng-5 / CSS-4),” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 12, 2016, last modified November 18, 2019, DF-5 (Dong Feng-5 / CSS-4) | Missile Threat and Missile Defense Project, “Titan II,” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 22, 2017, last modified June 15, 2018, Titan II | Missile Threat.
  5. [5]
    “Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Newly Built Submarine,” KCNA, July 23, 2019, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Newly Built Submarine | KCNA Watch.
posted for fair use
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
North Korea Unveils Two New Strategic Missiles in October 10 Parade
By: Vann H. Van Diepen and Michael Elleman

As widely expected, North Korea unveiled new missile capabilities during its military parade on October 10, marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers Party.[1] But the specific new missiles revealed were a surprise: a road-mobile, liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) much larger than previously known North Korean systems and a new solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).


This paper provides an initial assessment of each of the two missiles based on the limited information currently available. Parading these two systems around has an obvious political messaging component; however, operationally, the rationale for such a very large ICBM is unclear and the new SLBM would only add marginally at best to the already sizable regional threat from North Korea’s land-based missiles.


The New ICBM

(Source: KCTV via Martyn Williams)
The new ICBM, presumably a Hwasong-16, appears to be approximately 25-26 m long and 2.5-2.9 m in diameter—about 4-4.5 m longer and about 0.5 m larger in diameter than the North’s Hwasong-15 ICBM flight tested once in November 2017. Indeed, the new missile has been correctly characterized as the world’s largest mobile ICBM—in part because countries with ICBMs generally seek to make their road-mobile ICBMs smaller so they can be more mobile and concealable.


That said, we estimate the new missile’s launch weight at roughly 100,000-150,000 kg, compared to some 80,000 kg for the Chinese DF-41 solid-propellant, road-mobile ICBM and about 104,000 kg for the former Soviet SS-24 rail-mobile solid ICBM.


The first stage of the new ICBM appears large enough in diameter to accommodate four of the Soviet RD-250-sized rocket engines believed to power the Hwasong-15 (which uses two in its first stage). The number and type of engine used in its presumed second stage are unclear, making the new missile’s throw-weight capability uncertain. Based on the assumption of four RD-250-type engines in the first stage, however, we estimate the new missile could, in principle, deliver 2,000-3,500 kg of payload to any point in the continental United States—much greater than the Hwasong-15’s assessed 1,000 kg payload capability to the same range.


But why would the North Korean’s need or want such a big missile? Especially since the Hwasong-15 would appear to have sufficient range/payload capability and room for improvement to meet North Korea’s operational targeting needs, and is much easier to move and conceal. There are two main possibilities, which are not mutually exclusive.


First, there may be a political rationale for producing or parading the new system. An unexpected “super heavy” ICBM would be a classically Khrushchevian[2] statement of North Korea’s technical prowess, the robustness of its ability to threaten the US,[3] and the permanence of its nuclear weapons status. It is worth noting that there has been no open-source evidence that the new ICBM’s apparent first-stage propulsion system has been ground-tested, and one analyst has that “no North Korean ICBM design that was *first seen at a parade* has seen flight-testing to date.”


Second, there may be operational reasons to make such a large missile. The North may want to be able (or to be seen as able) to deliver a much larger payload to anywhere in the US.


In terms of larger payloads, the North may be working toward developing multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs). Perhaps the North’s current nuclear RVs are larger and heavier than we expect, and so the Hwasong-15 cannot carry enough such RVs along with the size of post-boost vehicle (PBV) the North currently can provide to dispense them. Or perhaps the Hwasong-15 can be MIRVed but the North wants to be able to deliver more MIRVs per booster.


It should be noted that North Korea has not demonstrated a militarily useful MIRV capability, which is technically demanding. For example, it has yet to flight test a PBV, much less the deployment of MIRVs from a PBV. Given the technical demands of MIRVs, it might instead first deploy non-independently targetable Multiple Reentry Vehicles (MRVs) like the US, USSR, and UK did. Even in this case, the North might want more payload capability to deploy more or larger MRVs.


Another reason for having a bigger payload capacity is the desire to carry more and/or more RV-like (heavier) decoys to spoof US missile defenses than is possible with the Hwasong-15. Alternatively, the North may have decided that it wanted to possess or portray the capability to deliver a “super heavy” single large thermonuclear RV against US cities for political or deterrent effect. While this also is Khrushchevian in nature, one should recall that the Soviet SS-18, Chinese CSS-4 and US Titan-II ICBMs were deployed with massive single RVs having up to 9 megatons of yield.[4]


Another size-related question raised by the new ICBM is: why make it road-mobile? Here, too, there could be a political component; after all, it is the world’s biggest mobile ICBM. But to the extent the North truly intends to deploy this system, it would almost certainly judge that road-mobile basing would be more survivable than silo- or other fixed-basing, even though the sheer size and weight of the new ICBM would render it less mobile than the Hwasong-15 and more constrained in the portions of the road network it could use, (limited to smooth, paved roadways), and probably needing to fuel the missile after it was erected at a launch site (adding to vulnerability and reducing response time).


The New SLBM

(Source: KCNA)
We have not been able to estimate the dimensions of the new “Pukguksong-4” SLBM from the currently available images; one analyst suggests it may be the same size as the current Pukguksong-3/KN-26. The missile’s short-and-wide appearance makes sense given the constraints of a submarine launch tube, especially for the size of submarine North Korea probably would be using.


At least portions of the missile’s motor case appear to be filament-wound, a technology the North Koreans previously have suggested they possess. If the entire motor case were so constructed, that would reduce the missile’s structure weight and allow greater range/payload capability.


The North Koreans presumably intend for the new SLBM to have greater range than the 1,900 km estimated for their most recently tested SLBM (albeit fired from a test barge, not a submarine), the Pukguksong-3/KN-26. If the new SLBM uses a larger solid-fuel motor than the Pukguksong-3, there is no open source evidence that motor has been ground tested. If the new SLBM is intended to be deployed, it may be intended for the new conventionally powered ballistic missile submarine that North Korea hinted at building in July 2019.[5]


The military significance of the new SLBM will turn on its range capability: The longer the range, the closer to North Korean military protection its launching submarine can remain and still hit regional targets. We presume the Pukguksong-4 will not have sufficient range to strike Guam, Hawaii or the US West Coast without a vulnerable transit.


In any case, as noted elsewhere, this missile could provide only a marginal addition to the threat posed by the North’s much larger, increasingly longer range and much more survivable land-based ballistic missile force.


  1. [1]
    Simon Denyer and Min Joo Kim, “North Korea Parades Huge, New ICBM, But Kim Jong Un Stresses Deterrent Nature,” The Washington Post, October 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/northkorea-military-parade-missile-icbm/2020/10/10/f6f13a74-0869-11eb-8719-0df159d14794_story.html.
  2. [2]
    From the mid-1950s to early 1960s, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev tried to compensate for what he knew to be the USSR’s nuclear inferiority by staging bomber fly-bys with the same small number of aircraft fly over again and again to portray having a large bomber force, ordering the testing of a 50 megaton nuclear device that was not reflective of actual deployable weapons, etc.
  3. [3]
    Simon Denyer and Min Joo Kim.
  4. [4]
    See Missile Defense Project, “SS-18 ‘Satan,’” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 10, 2016, last modified June 15, 2018, SS-18 "Satan" | Missile Threat; Missile Defense Project, “DF-5 (Dong Feng-5 / CSS-4),” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 12, 2016, last modified November 18, 2019, DF-5 (Dong Feng-5 / CSS-4) | Missile Threat and Missile Defense Project, “Titan II,” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 22, 2017, last modified June 15, 2018, Titan II | Missile Threat.
  5. [5]
    “Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Newly Built Submarine,” KCNA, July 23, 2019, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Inspects Newly Built Submarine | KCNA Watch.
posted for fair use
Norbert Brugge is calling this the "first stage" of the "Unha X".....
 

jward

passin' thru
Norbert Brugge is calling this the "first stage" of the "Unha X".....
O that's for real thing. I thought perhaps it was 'uhhuh' yeah sure as in fake rocket

but:
The Unha or Eunha (Korean: 은하, 銀河, "Galaxy")[6] is a North Korean expendable carrier rocket, which partially utilizes the same delivery system as the Taepodong-2 orbital launch system.[7]

Contents
History
North Korea's first orbital space launch attempt occurred on August 31, 1998 and was unsuccessful. This launch attempt was performed by a Paektusan-1 rocket, which used a solid motor third stage, a Scud-missile-based second stage, and a Nodong-1 based first stage. Nodong-1 was a North Korean-developed stage thought to be a scale-up of the old Soviet Scud missile. The Paektusan-1 stood 22.5 metres (74 ft) tall, was 1.8 metres (6 ft) in diameter, and weighed about 21 tonnes.
Vehicle description


Model of a Unha-9 rocket on display at a floral exhibition in Pyongyang.

The Unha's first stage consists of four clustered Nodong motors, which themselves are enlarged Scud motors. The second stage was initially thought to be based on the SS-N-6, although it, too, is now believed to be based on Scud technology.[4] The third and last stage might be identical to the Iranian Safir's second stage which is propelled by two small gimballed motors.[4][8]
Recent satellite images of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station showing an enlarged launch tower under construction indicate that an enlarged version, called Unha-X, might be under development, coupled with a North Korean propaganda poster showing such a vehicle.[9]
 
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jward

passin' thru




Indo-Pacific News
@IndoPac_Info

5h

#India test-fires 10 missiles in 35 days. It is not a coincidence. The DRDO’s effort to fast-track development of ‘Made in India’ strategic nuclear and conventional missiles comes against the backdrop of #China’s refusal to step back from the #LAC
The Defence Research and Development Organisation will early next week fire the 800 km range Nirbhay sub-sonic cruise missile, the last for the solid rocket booster missile before its formal induction into the army and the navy, people familiar with the development said.

View: https://twitter.com/IndoPac_Info/status/1315120682167005185?s=20
 

glennb6

Contributing Member
and don't forget, North Korean tanks during a military parade. Nuclear-armed North Korea held a giant military parade, television images showed, "with thousands of maskless troops" > cut and pasted from Dailymail.uk

and in another report in the Bkk Post online, they also referred to the 'maskless troops' and some crap about social distancing... So along with the fear mongering of the whole article (in both papers), I'm tempted to call it a CIA or DS written hit piece just because of the references to CV was so over the top silly.
 

jward

passin' thru
Ankit Panda
@nktpnd

1h

Didn't mean to be cagey above: the diameter measurement is concerning because it makes the Pukguksong-4 the largest-diameter solid propellant missile ever seen in North Korea. It may be part of a future solid ICBM. (Note the lack of KPN camo unlike the paraded Pukguksong-1 SLBM.)

This shot offers a good look at the wound filament airframe.
EkF2QqkWoAQI21i.jpg
We’ve known North Korea has the ability to make wound filament rocket casings since early 2017. This was the big breakthrough that allowed the USSR to start producing large road-mobile ICBMs. (Liquid propellant road-mobile ICBMs aren’t ideal.)

So, we may soon be looking at a future where North Korea operates 2.5m diameter liquid propellant ICBMs with MRVs, and a single-RV ~2m diameter solid propellant ICBM. Bad news all around.

I don’t think it’s an SLBM, FWIW. The green truck & non-KPN personnel accompanying it suggest it’s a land-based system.

ETA :
Tyler Rogoway
@Aviation_Intel

37m

Replying to
@nktpnd
Wouldnt this be adapted for ground launch like Polaris2 was for KN-15? I thought this would be the logical evolution and would have commonality with Polaris 4. That was my take anyway.
 
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Doomer Doug

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I first remember back when Trump went and did his whole "deal with North Korea," schick. I remember a few of the old time North Korea hands said watch out, cuz little supreme leader, and I did not know this, really is a nuke rocket scientist, will play you. And Trump, et al said no way cuz blah blah.
Well, guess what, Little Rocket boy played us ALL like a stratovarius violin and ended up with exactly what he needs to vaporize San Francisco, not that many would care at this point. So, we got yet another threat at our throat and making us even weaker than we were a year ago.

North Korea will eventually be destroyed. Unfortunately, little rocket boy may take Japan, Hawaii, Guam and the US west coast with him.

North Korea is like Japan in World War Two, with rocket boy a god like hirohito was.
 

jward

passin' thru
I dunno. Lil dough boy is starting to grow on me. Certainly more interesting to watch his persona morph into this statesmanesque dood from a boring, predictable 3rd rate bully. :: shrug :: I doubt we know what is really up tween DJT and doughboy though. I wouldn't be too terribly surprised if they were playing others in some regards. :: more shrugs ::

I know nothing.jpg
 

jward

passin' thru
Vipin Narang
@NarangVipin

2h

What Ankit is suggesting is that maybe—just spitballing here—we did see part of, or the potential precursor to, a North Korean solid fuel ICBM yesterday.

Why is a mobile solid fuel ICBM so important? It’s easier to hide (no big logistics signature!) and it’s quicker to launch (doesn’t take hours to fuel—it’s why we call it Minuteman!). So more survivable and prompter. The big liquid fuel ICBM was evolution, solid would be a jump.

Ankit Panda
@nktpnd

1h

Didn't mean to be cagey above: the diameter measurement is concerning because it makes the Pukguksong-4 the largest-diameter solid propellant missile ever seen in North Korea. It may be part of a future solid ICBM. (Note the lack of KPN camo unlike the paraded Pukguksong-1 SLBM.)

This shot offers a good look at the wound filament airframe.
View attachment 225471
We’ve known North Korea has the ability to make wound filament rocket casings since early 2017. This was the big breakthrough that allowed the USSR to start producing large road-mobile ICBMs. (Liquid propellant road-mobile ICBMs aren’t ideal.)

So, we may soon be looking at a future where North Korea operates 2.5m diameter liquid propellant ICBMs with MRVs, and a single-RV ~2m diameter solid propellant ICBM. Bad news all around.

I don’t think it’s an SLBM, FWIW. The green truck & non-KPN personnel accompanying it suggest it’s a land-based system.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I dunno. Lil dough boy is starting to grow on me. Certainly more interesting to watch his persona morph into this statesmanesque dood from a boring, predictable 3rd rate bully. :: shrug :: I doubt we know what is really up tween DJT and doughboy though. I wouldn't be too terribly surprised if they were playing others in some regards. :: more shrugs ::

View attachment 225475

I agree. I think Kim does get along with Trump. I think he's showing the Leftists and Deep Staters and more importantly the democratic voters what will happen if Trump loses the election. He's not stupid, he knows that the Deep State will try to undo any deal he makes with Trump and he's showing what he has ready to go if they're planning on going that route.
I also wonder what his sister's "attempted coup" (that's how I view it, not the way it's ever been reported) has to do with all of this. Did he have to prove to his generals that he's still tough?

Either way, I don't think he was insincere with Trump and I don't think he fooled Trump - but it would be ironic in the worst way if Bolton was right.

HD
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Remember:

Little Kimmie went to school (and grew up) in the West (Switzerland)

Neither he nor his sister were expected to take power and so were kind of ignored by their family...

I don't know if he has a science degree or not, but it would not surprise me (or has self-studied enough or been tutored to the point where he might as well have one).
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Groups behind U.S. riots linked to Chinese Communist Party

10/10/2020 / By Cassie B.
Revolt.news



A terrorism expert is calling attention to China’s ties to the riots that have been seen across the United States over the last few months. Author and researcher Trevor Loudon recently spoke about the connection in an interview on the Epoch Times’ Crossroads program.

Loudon, who has been researching terrorist and radical groups and their influence on mainstream politics for more than three decades, said that some of the organizations that have been behind the riots include the openly pro-CCP Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) of Minneapolis , the Chinese Progressive Association and the Bay Area’s Liberation Road. According to Loudon, Liberation Road is a Chinese-directed socialist movement that draws from Marxist ideology, and its website says it is focused on building resistance to Trump.

Liberation Road is “the parent body of Black Lives Matter,” Loudon says, and was behind the Ferguson unrest in 2014 as well. The group split from the FRSO a few years ago after a disagreement about whether or not to work with the Democratic Party.

One of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza, is the principal of a project known as Black Future Labs that is funded by the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), according to the Black Future Labs donation page. There are two organizations with the CPA name, and both are controlled by Liberation Road and Maoist communists.

The Boston CPA worked officially with the Chinese Consulate in New York to help Chinese nationals renew passports, earning praise from Chinese state media, and has sponsored flying the Chinese flag over the city hall of Boston in honor of the Chinese Revolution. Meanwhile, the San Francisco CPA is tied closely to that city’s Chinese consulate. Both, Loudon says, are front groups for the same communist organization despite being governed by different boards.

Black Lives Matter is also tied to the CCP via its alliance with Asians for Black Lives. Two of that group’s leading founders are past leaders of the Chinese Progressive Association. One of them, Eric Ma, was a close ally of an identified CCP spy who once worked for Senator Dianne Feinstein by the name of Russell Lowe.

Groups on a mission to make America “ungovernable”

Meanwhile, Freedom Road Socialist Organization’s mission is fighting for socialism within the U.S. and to establish a new communist party. This is according to its website, which also declares it is pro-China. It follows CCP propaganda and some of its cadres live in China.

FRSO member Jess Sundin was behind the riots in Minneapolis, and Loudon has a video in which Sundin admits to being the main organizer of the riots. She also spoke about how happy she was to see a police precinct burning to the ground. Sundin also stated that the arson, looting and violence were an intrinsic part of the movement rather than the result of a peaceful demonstration being hijacked.

According to Loudon, unrest and riots in cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Tampa, Jacksonville, Houston and Kenosha were also organized and coordinated by FRSO. On the day President Trump was inaugurated, their political secretary, Steff Yorek, said: “We need to stay in the streets the entire four years opposing Trump and making the country ungovernable.”

China’s backing of these attacks on American cities should be getting far more attention than it does. It is clear that the CCP wants to weaken American society, and those who support groups like Black Lives Matter are helping them destroy the country.

Sources for this article include:

TheEpochTimes.com
Heritage.org

 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Australia investigating reports that China has halted coal imports

By Reuters Staff
October 12, 20209:00 PM Updated an hour ago

MELBOURNE, October 13 (Reuters) - Australia is investigating media reports that China has stopped taking its coal shipments, Australia’s trade minister said on Tuesday, playing down a potential sign of escalating trade tension between the two countries.

Speaking on breakfast television, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the government was seeking a response from China while noting that coal flows to the country had been disrupted in recent years partly due to Chinese “domestic factors”.

Diplomatic relations soured in 2018 when Australia banned China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from participating in its nascent fifth-generation (5G) broadband network. Australia’s call for an independent inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus - which first emerged in China - further angered the government in Beijing.

On October 8, trade publication IHS Markit reported that authorities at ports in Bayuquan and Jingtang in northern China and Fangcheng in the south had told buyers that Australian cargo would be rejected from discharge and clearing, effective Oct. 1. China’s “Golden Week” public holiday spanned Oct. 1-7.

“We’re talking to the coal industry there and seeking assurances from China in relation to these matters but our coal remains an important part of our export mix and certainly a very reliable energy source for a range of countries across the region,” Birmingham told broadcaster Channel 9’s Today Show.

China is the biggest importer of Australian coal, taking 27% of its metallurgical coal in the year to June and 20% of its thermal coal. Coal was Australia’s second-largest export last year, behind iron ore, worth A$55 billion ($39.52 billion).

China was already expected to tighten coal import rules in the second half of 2020 to support its domestic industry, traders and analysts told Reuters in May, after record arrivals in the first four months of the year met tanking demand brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.

Analysts forecast imports to fall by a quarter this year from last to about 80 million tonnes. ($1 = 1.3918 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Column: China's reported ban on Australian coal escalates dispute beyond mere nuisance - Russell
By Clyde Russell
October 12, 20209:16 PM Updated 34 minutes ago

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) - China has reportedly told coal traders and users to stop imports from Australia with immediate effect in a move that would choke a major trade channel for both countries, a major escalation of political tensions between the pair.

Commodity price reporting agencies S&P Global Platts and Argus, as well as other media outlets, reported in recent days hearing from unnamed sources that Beijing had given “verbal” instructions to some steel mills, power companies and coal traders to halt imports from Australia.

If the reports are accurate - there has been no official confirmation yet - it would constitute a serious deterioration in the relationship between Australia and its largest trading partner. Coal is one of the big three Australian commodity exports to China, coming in behind iron ore and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Ties between the two have been severely strained on a political level by Canberra’s call for an international investigation into the novel coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China before spreading globally.

So far Beijing has effectively banned imports of Australian barley, placed restrictions on wine and meat, and discouraged students and others from travelling to Australia.

While these measures certainly are negative to the sectors involved, they are still relatively insignificant when compared to the overall trading relationship between Australia and China.

Australia is China’s top supplier of iron ore and coking coal, the two main ingredients used to make steel, while also being a major provider of LNG and thermal coal, used predominantly in power stations.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that China has supposedly imposed some sort of ban, or go-slow, on imports of coal from Australia.

The most recent occasion was in March 2019, when there was reported to be an unofficial slowing of customs clearances of Australian cargoes.

However, despite extensive reporting on the delaying of shipments, Australian coal exports to China seemed to show very little impact, with a small dip in February 2019 being made up a rebound in March that year.

It will take several months to work out if China is being more serious this time around, or if the reported import restrictions are just part of the wider cut and thrust of the ongoing political tensions.

In the meantime, vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv show that China has already been slowing imports of Australian coal.

September imports of all coal types from Australia were 5.48 million tonnes, down from 6.04 million in August and 8.17 million in July.

In year-to-date terms, China imported 67.68 million tonnes from Australia in the first nine months, a drop of 7.3% from the same period in 2019.

Still, it’s worth noting that Indonesia, traditionally the biggest supplier of coal to China, has seen steeper declines: China’s imports from Indonesia in September were 4.18 million tonnes, the lowest since Refinitiv started vessel-tracking in January 2015.

For the first nine months of 2020, China imported 86.63 million tonnes from Indonesia, down 17% from the same period last year.

China is believed to have been restricting coal imports, particularly thermal grades, in order to support prices for domestic miners, and it appears that so far Indonesia has taken a bigger hit than Australia.

ESCALATION FEARS

Another factor worth noting is that while coal is one of the big three Australian commodity exports to China, it’s still the one upon which China is least reliant, and Beijing has a realistic chance of being able to source alternative supplies.

In thermal coal, China can source similar grades from Russia, South Africa, Colombia and the United States without incurring too much of a financial penalty through higher freight charges.

In coking coal, the situation is somewhat tricker.

Australia’s share of China’s coking coal imports in the first half of 2020 was about two-thirds, according to the Australian government’s latest Resources and Energy Publication.

Australia is the world’s largest coking coal exporter, supplying about 55% of the traded market.

If China were to stop importing from Australia, it would have to scramble to buy whatever it could from neighbouring Mongolia and Russia, as well as Canada and the United States.

While the price of Australian coking coal would no doubt suffer, the prices of these other types would also likely rally strongly: Cutting off imports from Australia will potentially be a costly exercise for Beijing.

It would also make coking coal cheaper for regional steel-making competitors, such as Japan, South Korea and India, handing those countries an advantage in the highly competitive steel export market in Asia.

These may be costs Beijing is willing to bear in its bid to keep Australia in check, but there is always a risk of undue and unforeseen escalation of the conflict.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison may deem it worth the risk of retaliating, with the obvious candidate being Australian iron ore, upon which China is heavily reliant.

Australia supplies about 68% of China’s iron ore imports, and there is absolutely no way the rest of the world could make up for the shortfall if shipments were halted
.

Given the reliance of the Chinese economy on steel as the key component of infrastructure, construction and manufacturing, an Australian ban on iron ore exports would have a far bigger impact on China than a Chinese ban on Australian coal imports has on Australia.

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.)

Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

 
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