On July 12, North Korea made headlines by testing its latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) called Hwasong-18. This missile is unique because it is the first to use solid propellants.
The test was carried out by the General Missile Bureau as part of their efforts to defend their country’s security and regional peace. The new-type ICBM Hwasong-18 is considered a core weapon system of North Korea’s strategic force.
The country’s state media, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), reported the successful test, emphasizing its commitment to bolstering its legitimate right to self-defense. The test was also aimed at deterring any potential military threats from hostile forces.
What is an ICBM?
Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) are ballistic missiles with a range of more than 5,500 kilometers (3,400 mi). The first ICBMs were developed by the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Since then, other countries, including China, France, India, and the United Kingdom, have also developed ICBMs.
There have been a number of treaties and agreements aimed at limiting the development and deployment of ICBMs. However, these treaties have not been fully successful, and the threat of nuclear war remains a major concern.
Key Features of ICBMs
- They have a range of more than 5,500 kilometers (3,400 mi).
- They can carry nuclear warheads.
- They are capable of striking targets in enemy territory.
- They are typically launched from silos or mobile launchers.
- They fly at high altitudes and speeds, making them difficult to intercept.
- They are the most destructive weapons in the world.
ICBMs are a major threat to global security. Their use could have devastating consequences for humanity. It is important to continue to work towards the elimination of these weapons from the world’s arsenals.
The Hwasong-18 is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that uses solid propellants. It was showcased for the first time during a parade in Pyongyang on February 8 this year, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army in North Korea.
Experts note that the use of solid propellants in the Hwasong-18 offers advantages in terms of missile deployment. Solid propellants allow for faster and more rapid acceleration at liftoff, making the missiles quicker to fire.
The history of solid propellants in rockets dates back to ancient times, with Chinese inventors creating the earliest rockets using a variant of black powder in the first millennium. While solids were initially used in short-range rockets and early guns, they were not used for long-range applications or spaceflight due to their limited power. However, solid propellants remained appealing for military missile use because they could be stored for long periods without deterioration.
Significance of North Korea’s Latest ICBM Test
According to North Korea’s state media, the recent test fire of the Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was carried out in response to perceived military threats from the US and its allies. The test was conducted based on the strategic judgment and crucial decision of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The media cited the US-South Korea “Nuclear Consultative Group” and the deployment of a US nuclear-powered submarine to South Korea as factors increasing tensions in the region.
North Korea expressed concerns over the US’s plans to discuss the use of nuclear weapons against their country through the “Nuclear Consultative Group” and the deployment of nuclear assets in the region. The state media framed the test fire of the Hwasong-18 ICBM as a strong warning and a demonstration of their determination to counter any perceived nuclear threats against them.
These actions and developments have heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula and are seen as serious military provocations, pushing the situation toward a potential armed conflict. The test fire of the Hwasong-18 ICBM is considered an essential step in further developing North Korea’s strategic nuclear force, according to the state media.
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What is an ICBM?
Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) are ballistic missiles with a range of more than 5,500 kilometers (3,400 mi). ICBMs are capable of carrying nuclear warheads and can be used to strike targets in enemy territory.
How do ICBMs work?
ICBMs are launched from either silos or mobile launchers.
When launched from a silo, the missile is raised to the surface by a hydraulic elevator. The missile is then ignited and launched into the air.
When launched from a mobile launcher, the missile is kept in a horizontal position until it is ready to be launched. The missile is then raised to a vertical position and ignited.
Once the missile is launched, it travels through the atmosphere and into space. The missile’s guidance system then directs it to its target.