13 December 2015
Following the test of an underwater missile ejection system of the first submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in May this year, North Korea conducted an even more ambitious test towards the end of last month – a flight test of the aforementioned SLBM, the Bukkeukseong-1 or “Polaris-1” missile. Despite the test being conducted from a floating barge, implying that Pyongyang lacks the confidence or capability for a full-fledged underwater test, the Bukkeukseong-1 failed upon launch, with missile debris subsequently seen floating in the Sea of Japan. But even as anti-DPRK watchers might feel a sense of schadenfreude when Pyongyang’s missile development team stumbles and falls, or even snigger at the lackluster qualities of their missiles, gloating is not only premature but ill-advised.
… Nah Liang Tuang is an Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 14/12/2015