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A senior White House official suspects that North Korea will uncover the new missile at Pyongyang’s military parade in October to mark the 75th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, according to an expert. Harry J. Kazianis, Senior Director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest, told Express.co.uk that the solid-fuelled intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM) could be fired very quickly by Pyongyang.
Mr Kazianis spoke to a senior White House official who strongly believes North Korea will unveil the missile next month, just a few weeks before the US presidential election.
The White House official said: “That seems to be the most likely of scenarios based on their history—and it’s what we are expecting, but, of course, we are hoping to be proven wrong.
“As we have stated on numerous occasions, we strongly encourage North Korea to return to the path of dialogue and negotiation and refrain from all provocations.
“If they are looking for regime security, that is the only way they can ensure such a goal.”
Mr Kazianis said: “As new solid-fueled ICBM, at least initially, won’t be a true game changer for the US or allied security as North Korea at best will only have a handful of them and they would not have tested them.
“However, over the long-term such a weapon would be able to be fired very quickly as it could be stored in a ready-to-fire state.”
Mr Kazianis explained the possible public unveiling would show a generational shift in North Korea’s missile technology.
He said the country’s current long-range mobile ICBMs use a liquid-based fuel but require a longer preparation time.
But a solid-fuelled missile, which North Korea may unveil next month, has the advantage of being able to stay in a ready-to-strike state, according to Mr Kazianis.
This means they can be launched much faster and are more reliable than North Korea’s current ICBMs.
Mr Kazianis said: “This would allow Pyongyang’s ICBMs to truly be completely mobile, making them harder to detect and destroy in a military conflict.”
If North Korea unveil the missile next month in its military parade, it will come just weeks before the US presidential election.
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Mr Kazianis said Donald Trump’s administration do not want to risk any crisis occurring before the election in November.
He said: “The Trump Administration is very proud of the ICBM and nuclear weapons testing moratorium North Korea has agreed to and held to up until this point.
“They don’t want to risk any sort of crisis before the election that will give progressives here in Washington any sort of ammo to attack Trump and say his talks or summit with Kim have failed.”
President Trump has said he would make deals with the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un “very quickly” if re-elected in November.
His Democratic competitor, Joe Biden, said he would not continue Mr Trump’s personal diplomacy with Mr Kim.
Mr Biden would instead focus on more general diplomacy with North Korea and allies to pressure the country to denuclearise.
At the end of last year, Mr Kim said the world will see a new “strategic weapon” in the near future.
Mr Kazianis explained how North Korea’s possible missile unveiling in October could impact the US election.
He said: “The only way this could have any sort of impact on the 2020 election is if Trump were to throw a fit on Twitter and start calling Kim Jong-un little rocket man or go on the attack, upset that North Korea showed off to the world what Kim may have been referring to as his new ‘strategic weapon’.
“If that happens, Kim may shock the world and test the new ICBM, and maybe even splash down in the Pacific Ocean a dummy, unarmed warhead, proving to the entire planet once and for all that North Korea can deliver a nuke to the US homeland—and kill millions of people.”
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