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WSJ: North Korea 'Decoders' Warn of Missile Capabilities

(The Wall Street Journal)

By    |   Thursday, 05 October 2017 11:06 AM

The Wall Street Journal reports that nuclear nonproliferation experts have uncovered "amazingly detailed inform" about the North Korean missile program.

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies' Jeffrey Lewis told the paper that North Korea has missiles capable of reaching the continental United States.

Using various indicators from propaganda materials released by North Korea, including the measurements of a Japanese-made crane shown holding a missile, the group determined the size and weight of the weapons. By also looking at video footage of the missiles being launched, the group concluded that the missiles can travel fast enough and far enough to reach Los Angeles and New York City.

They also found an instance of North Korea faking a successful missile launch from a submarine. In the footage released by the country, an editor appears to have cut out frames of the missile exploding shortly after launch and instead cut to a different missile successfully flying.

Lewis told the Journal that he hopes to avoid a situation similar to the war in Iraq, where the public was unable to verify if the country had weapons of mass destruction, and had to rely on the government's claims without evidence.

"My hope is that if we have better factual information in the public debate, that public debate will be better, and we'll make better decisions."

He also warned against the U.S. calling upon the armed forces, saying, "I think the doors for a military option are basically closed."

In addition to the risk of North Korean bombarding South Korea with non-nuclear artillery, Lewis assumes that at least some of the country's missiles are armed with nuclear devices, and that not all of those missiles could be destroyed before being launched.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that nuclear nonproliferation experts have uncovered "amazingly detailed inform" about the North Korean missile program.
north korea, decoders, warn, missile, capabilities
Thursday, 05 October 2017 11:06 AM
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