North Korea's new Hwasong-17 “monster missile”
March 25, 2022 - North Korea has test-fired its giant Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile. The world’s largest road-mobile ICBM can potentially deliver a warhead anywhere in the U.S.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says the Hwasong-17 flew 1,090km (681 miles) at a maximum altitude of 6,248.5km (3,905 miles). The missile hit a target in the Sea of Japan during the Thursday test (March 24, 2022).
Unlike North Korea’s previous ICBM tests, KCNA images show the Hwasong-17 is launched directly from an 11-axle Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) vehicle.
Pyongyang first displayed the weapon at a military parade in October 2020. Initial analysis speculated that the new missile, designated “Hwasong-16,” has not been flight-tested.
The missile is displayed for a second time in October 2021 at a defence exhibition. Analysts conclude the official designation of the giant ICBM is “Hwasong-17.”
North Korea fires suspected Hwasong-17 fist stage to an altitude of around 620km from Sunan, near Pyongyang, on February 27, 2022.
A second ballistic missile launched from Sunan on March 5 reached an altitude of 560km.
Experts conclude from the apparent diameter of the Hwasong-17 first stage -- between 2.4 and 2.5 metres -- that it can accommodate four Soviet-era RD-250-variant engines. These variants have been dubbed the “March 18 revolution” by North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.
Some in the U.S. intelligence community assess that North Korea likely can manufacture a liquid propulsion engine like the “March 18 revolution” indigenously.