Experts Suspect Chinese Assistance in N. Korean Submarine Missile Development

Write : 2016-09-03 11:26:14 Update : 2016-09-03 14:51:54

Experts Suspect Chinese Assistance in N. Korean Submarine Missile Development

Anchor: Weapons experts suspect that China may have given North Korea its submarine-launched ballistic missile(SLBM) technologies. After analyzing video footage of Pyongyang's successful test-firing of an SLBM last week, experts in the U.S. and South Korea said that the submarine missile is strikingly similar to China's first SLBM JL-1. 
Kim Bum-soo has more. 
 
Report: Bruce Bechtol, a North Korea expert at Angelo State University in the U.S., says North Korea's KN-11 submarine-launched ballistic missile(SLBM) appears to be a carbon copy of China's Julang-1, or JL-1 missile.
 
After analyzing video footage of Pyongyang's successful test-firing of an SLBM last week, Prof. Bechtol revealed his assessment during an interview with the New York-based John Batchelor Show radio news program.
 
[Sound bite: Prof. Bruce Bechtol - Angelo State University (audio clips from the John Batchelor Show / Aug. 31)]
"The missile that the North Koreans launched looks like it's a two-stage missile just like the JL-1. It looks like it is a solid-fuel missile just like the JL-1."
"Just looking at the JL-1 and the North Korean SLBM, they're looking exactly the same."
 
In its previous SLBM tests up until last year, the North experimented with liquid fuel but it switched to solid fuel this year. 
 
The professor added that space program expert Tal Inbar of Israel's Fisher Institute agrees that the North's SLBM could have come from China.
 
[Sound bite: Prof. Bruce Bechtol - Angelo State University (audio clips from the John Batchelor Show / Aug. 31)]
"He and I agree that there is really not any other missile that looks similar at all to this North Korean missile whereas the JL-1 looks like a carbon copy of it." 
 
Fired from Golf-class diesel electric ballistic missile submarines of the Soviet Navy, the ten-meter long JL-1 is similar in size to the North Korean missile. The cover of the first-stage engine of the North's KN-11 also resembles the Chinese missile. 
 
In an interview with KBS, Korea Defense and Security Forum researcher Shin Jong-woo said he suspected a possible China link behind North Korea's successful SLBM launch last week, which came only four months after its failed test in April. China took 15 years to develop its first SLBM JL-1.
 
[Sound bite: Shin Jong-woo - researcher, Korea Defense and Security Forum (Korean)]
"The rapid success is presumed to be due to the transfer of Chinese launch tube and solid fuel-technologies."
 
Fired off from the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula the North's KN-11 flew some 500 kilometers before it dropped in the Japanese air defense zone. Experts said that Seoul and Washington should alter its strategy against the North considering the imminence of the SLBM's threat.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News. 

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