North Korea claims to have miniaturized its nuclear warheads

While there is a considerable defense hierarchy between those countries that have nuclear weapons and those that do not, there is also a significant hierarchy between the few countries that have such weapons. Beyond the power of the nuclear warheads possessed, and the number of them in the arsenal, the technologies of the vectors capable of transporting these weapons play a crucial role in this area.

Indeed, having a gravitational nuclear bomb, which can only be deployed by a combat aircraft that we know to be vulnerable and limited in its range of action, is in no way comparable to having intercontinental ballistic missiles at change of environments implemented on board latest generation nuclear missile launcher submarines, which we know are almost impossible to spot or track.

In this context, the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear arsenal, while by no means negligible, is not comparable to that posed by the 5 member countries of the United Nations Security Council, which are also the only ones to have very long range SSBNs and SLBMs.

Today it is estimated that Pyongyang has around sixty nuclear warheads, distributed between its long-range missiles and its bombing force. However, until now, everything suggested that North Korea did not have the know-how and technological skills to sufficiently miniaturize its nuclear warheads, and thus arm its medium or short-range ballistic missiles, or its missiles. cruise. But photos published by the North Korean state press today cast doubt on these certainties (in main illustration)

Miniature nuclear Warhead North Korea Kim Jong un 1 e1680099655157 Analyzes Defense | Nuclear weapons | North Korea
The background illustration shows various missile models and how the miniaturized nuclear warhead can be fitted to them.

Indeed, these show leader Kim Jong Un inspecting what is presented as a new generation nuclear warhead. The device shown could indeed contain a fission weapon, but its most interesting characteristic is none other than its dimensions.

Indeed, according to the photos, we can estimate that the device shown has a length between 90cm and 1 meter, for a diameter of around 50 cm, i.e. dimensions small enough to take place on board more compact ballistic missiles than the very imposing North Korean ICBMs, and therefore relatively easy to track by satellite.

As such, in the background behind the North Korean president, an illustration shows the installation of this miniaturized head on board different types of missiles, including a fairing that resembles the KN-25 tactical ballistic missile, that of the ballistic missile medium-range Hwasong-7 as well as that of the medium-changing ballistic missile Pukguksong-3.


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