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12:39 PM, August 23, 2017
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North Korea Developing New Ballistic Missile, Pukguksong-3
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science released by Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday. A display titled “Pukguksong-3” (circled) is shown in the background. (Yonhap)

North Korea has hinted at the development of a new ballistic missile named Pukguksong-3 which is speculated to be an upgraded version of the land land-based solid-fuel Pukguksong-2, which Pyongyang test-fired in February.

Details about the missile, such as its range and weapons payload are not clear except that it is ballistic missile based on solid-fuel and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, presuming Pyongyang has one.

The “field survey” to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science offered a peek into the new ballistic missile’s development. Photos featuring a poster of the project were released via the state’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper Wednesday, Yonhap reports.

The news comes after Seoul and Washington have kicked off their annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill, which Pyongyang has long condemned as a direct threat to the regime.

Pyongyang has also ordered the production of intercontinental ballistic missile components to be increased.

According to Pyongyang’s state media Korean Central News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un placed more orders for solid-fuel rocket engines and warhead tips for ICBMs during his visit to a state chemicals institute.

“(Kim Jong-un) instructed the institute to produce more solid-fuel rocket engines and rocket warhead tips by further expanding engine production process and the production capacity of rocket warhead tips and engine jets by carbon and carbon compound material,” the report states. 

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