N. Korea’s Musudan missile could be ready by next year
North Korea is on track to perfect its Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile — capable of reaching U.S. bases in Japan and Guam — much earlier than expected, a Washington-based think tank says.
An aggressive schedule that has seen multiple tests, coupled with the communist nation carrying out launches near Kusong on its west coast, suggest the missiles could enter service as early as next year, says an analysis published Monday by 38 North, a website run by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies that monitors North Korean activities.
“The North Koreans aren’t simply repeating old failures,” the analysis said. “And they aren’t taking the slow path to developing a reliable system, with a year or so between each test to analyze the data and make improvements … instead, they are continuing with an aggressive test schedule that involves, at least this time, demonstrating new operational capabilities.”
North Korea successfully launched a Musudan missile earlier this year that reached an altitude of about 620 miles before crashing into the sea. That followed several failed attempts.
Such frequent launches increase the probability of failures, but “it means they will learn more with each test,” the think tank said.