North Korea could launch a ballistic missile next month, a South Korean general has warned.
The test would take place around the October 10 founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party, according to Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chairman nominee Won In-choul.
It may be a new strategic weapon that tyrant Kim Jong-un threatened to debut in his New Year’s Day message.
Won said: “Currently, recovery work from damage by recent typhoons is under way at the Sinpo shipyard.
“Once completed, (North Korea) could launch an SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile) by using catapulting devices following preparations for a short period of time.”
He believes the hermit kingdom is at the stage of developing and testing a new SLMB.
Won also argued that those types of missiles could reach the US, but their atmospheric re-entry technology has not yet been verified.
He added: “North Korea is believed to have been developing short-range ballistic missiles into diverse platforms.
“We are capable of detecting those new ballistic missiles, and such detection capabilities will be enhanced further when early warning radar systems are put into operation.”
In July, a US Department of the Army report warned the country has up to 60 nuclear weapons and a 5,000-tonne stockpile of chemical weapons.
North Korean tactics said Kim’s regime may be able to obtain 100 such weapons by the end of this year, South Korean news agency Yonhap reports.
It reads: “Estimates for North Korean nuclear weapons range from 20-60 bombs, with the capability to produce 6 new devices each year.”
North Korea is supposedly the third biggest possessor of chemical agents, with 2,500-5,000 tonnes and 20 different types, the research adds.
The authors say that Kim’s scientists have been working on weaponising anthrax or smallpox, and potentially mounting them on missiles to use against South Korea or the US.
It is believed the hermit kingdom also has an army of more than 6,000 hackers who are operating in countries such as China, India and Russia.
The report warns they can “reach targeted computers anywhere in the world”.