North Korea missile program


Video shows North Korea has yet to master re-entry technology

PUBLISHED Mon, July 31, 2017 - 9:22pm EDT

North Korea has not yet mastered the technology to shield a nuclear warhead from the rigors of re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, U.S. experts said on Monday, citing video footage from Friday's long-range missile test. (more)

North Korea's unusual launch at night allowed multiple cameras in northern Japan to capture the missile as it fell into the Sea of Japan. One of the videos showed a bright light in the sky before it disappeared behind a mountain.

Missile expert Michael Elleman, of the North Korea monitoring project 38 North, said the footage casts serious doubt on North Korea's claim that it can shield a nuclear warhead from the rigors of re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

"At about 20 kilometers (12 miles) above sea level, the RV (re-entry vehicle) has become so hot that it begins to glow as its descent is recorded by the camera," Elleman said. The re-entry vehicle then quickly disappears at an altitude of about 3 to 4 kilometers (1.8 to 2.5 miles).

"This occurs before the RV passes behind the mountain range and is obscured from the camera’s view, indicating that it disintegrated about the time it experienced maximum stressing loads," Elleman explained. "Had the RV survived the rigors of re-entry, it would have continued to glow until disappearing behind the mountains."

Elleman concluded in his assessment that the missile's re-entry vehicle did not survive during Friday's test. It is unknown if the re-entry vehicle survived during North Korea's first long-range missile test on July 4, which happened during daylight as is usual.

"If this assessment accurately reflects reality, North Korea’s engineers have yet to master re-entry technologies and more work remains before Kim Jong Un has an ICBM capable of striking the American mainland," he added.

In addition to questions about North Korea's re-entry technologies, it is also uncertain whether the reclusive country is able to sufficiently miniaturize a nuclear warhead to place it on top of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

"No one outside of North Korea knows the precise status of its nuclear-bomb making capabilities," Elleman said. He added that North Korea could be capable of constructing a nuclear warhead that fits into its long-range missile, but it may have to work on a lighter-weight bomb to reach the U.S. mainland.

Friday's missile test demonstrated that North Korea's missiles are able to reach large parts of the U.S. mainland, including major cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Chicago. It's unknown what the missile was carrying; a heavier payload for a nuclear warhead would reduce the missile's range.

  North Korea        10 UPDATES



More Updates

 2 wks   North Korea releases first photos of the Hwansong-15 missile capable of reaching the U.S.

              North Korea releases first photos of the Hwansong-15 missile which is capable of reaching all parts of the U.S. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley: "If war comes, make no mistake: The North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed." Haley went on to say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "made a choice yesterday that brings the world closer to war."

  North Korea        10 UPDATES


 2 months   North Korea preparing for long-range missile test, Russian lawmaker says

              North Korea will soon test another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States, according to a Russian lawmaker who returned Friday from a four-day visit to the reclusive country. (more) Read More

  Pyongyang, North Korea        10 UPDATES


 5 months   North Korea holds mass rally to celebrate ICBM launch

              North Korea celebrated the state's first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test with a mass rally and dance on Thursday (July 7) in Pyongyang. James Valles reports. (BNO News)

  North Korea        10 UPDATES


 5 months   WATCH LIVE: UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on North Korea

              UPDATE: This live feed has ended.

The United Nations Security Council is holding an emergency meeting on North Korea's long-range missile test.

  New York, NY        10 UPDATES


 5 months   WATCH LIVE: North Korea to make ‘important announcement’

              FOR LIVE UPDATES: Twitter, Facebook

North Korea is expected to make an "important announcement" at 3 p.m. Pyongyang time (2:30 am ET). State-run TV, which does not typically start broadcasting until 3 p.m., is now playing celebratory and patriotic music. The country is expected to announce a successful ICBM test capable of reaching Alaska.

       10 UPDATES



Happening Now

U.S. FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules

WATCH LIVE:  FCC expected to vote on repealing its net neutrality rules

Democrat Doug Jones wins U.S. Senate election in Alabama

Strong earthquake hits near Kerman in southeast Iran

Suspect in New York subway bombing acted on behalf of ISIS


Listen to "BNO News - Breaking News Radio" on Spreaker.


Just want the important news? Sign up now for the fastest email alerts from BNO News. Click here to get started!


U.S. FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules

Democrat Doug Jones wins U.S. Senate election in Alabama

Strong earthquake hits near Kerman in southeast Iran

Small plane crash into home in San Diego, at least 2 injured

Massive fire erupts in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood


Large explosion in China’s port city of Ningbo kills at least 2

Mount Agung erupts on Indonesia’s Bali island, some flights canceled

Woman in Italy rescued after being held captive for 10 years

False alarm causes mass panic on London’s Oxford Street

Militants attack mosque in Egypt’s Sinai, killing at least 235