North Korea’s “super large” missile system “is all about bragging”
North Korea has tested a supposedly “super-large” and new type of weapons system. The Munich-based missile expert Robert Schmucker explains what is really behind it.
Dictator Kim Jong-Un posing next to missile launchers.
An Interview by Julia koeppe.
Vintage 1988. Born and raised in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Studied archaeology and biology in Hamburg and Cardiff. According to archaeological excavations in the North of Germany, the United Kingdom, and to Israel for journalism changed. Worked as a freelance journalist for Online, television and Radio. Since June 2018 editor in the science Department of SPIEGEL ONLINE.
Smiling North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un next to a “super large anti-missile system, the multiple fire projectiles can” – this describes, at least, North Korea’s state broadcaster KCNA, the supposedly new weapon of the dictator, the successfully tested had been.
If the images are really authentic and when they were taken, cannot be independently checked. South Korea confirmed to have the projectiles registers, which were about to be flown 330 miles and expressed “great concern”.
In an Interview with the German rocket expert Robert Schmucker, why the supposedly new weapon for boasting, and why North Korea is likely to be far from, to build an operational nuclear missile explains .
SPIEGEL: Mr. Schmucker, North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un posing next to a supposedly new “super large-missile system” that can The Queen: the Secret blood-Plan unveiled fire multiple projectiles. How dangerous this gun is ?
Schmucker: On a typical rocket launcher for larger artillery rockets, which have up to two or three hundred km range. This is a run-of-world weapon, even for North Korea, not a new one. It is the same System that has also been tested many times in the past. This is not something that would bother me .
MIRROR: What about the used rocket known?
Schmucker: To the North Korea released pictures of an already well-known artillery rocket, which carries the coding KN-09. The little duck wings on the tip of the rocket serve, obviously, to the steering, but I’m not sure as to their effectiveness. Is to say, whether the precision or the accuracy of ballistic compared with a net ball, uncontrolled flight really improved significantly .
MIRROR: Is nothing New to the weapons system?
Schmucker: not Really. It is a rocket with a composite drive for a higher performance and a greater payload. This is obvious in the flame, because there is produced white smoke.
MIRROR: Is not a missile in the possession of a dictator is always worrying?
Schmucker: If those missiles hit with 200 to 500 kilograms of explosives in a city, they, of course, considerable damage, and with the above-mentioned range of Seoul would be well within the firing range of this missile. But such missile systems are not very precise, the target area can be, at best, a few kilometres to the limit. You can think of it as a big gun. For a real military threat, North Korea would need countless such missiles.
MIRROR: If the missile system is so commonplace, why the North, presented to Korea then so proud?
Schmucker: I think it’s mainly the swagger and the presentation of one’s own, supposed weapons potency. I doubt, however, that North Korea has actually developed missiles of great power and range .
SPIEGEL: But the country has done in the past few weeks, but time and again, missile tests .
Schmucker: they were just smaller devices. I think it is generally conceivable that North Korea developed its own missiles, but several indications suggest that the country has used so far, especially weapons from abroad. By 2017, the North Korean missiles were practically all Russian provenance. In addition, the use of the rockets is very different. If I would want to develop missiles in my country, I would try to standardize, and this technology continues to develop. The rockets, however, are very different, I would have to develop their own systems. That would be inefficient.
SPIEGEL: North Korea has repeatedly threatened the use of nuclear missiles. There is a real danger?
Schmucker: nuclear weapons-capable missile with greater range, is far, North Korea is still far. If there should be improvements, we would notice it quickly, because a lot of successful Tests under real conditions would be necessary, over the entire distance, and with a real re-entry body. So far, however, nothing is seen .