How Kim Jong Un keeps advancing his nuclear program

3. How are North Korea’s weapons more nimble?

Kim has rolled out new solid-fuel ballistic missiles that are easier to move, hide and fire than many liquid-fuel versions. He has launched more than two dozen since May 2019 including nuclear-capable, hypersonic KN-23 missiles that can strike all of South Korea — including U.S. forces stationed south of Seoul — within two minutes. He has also launched KN-25 short-range missiles designed to be fired in rapid succession from a single launcher to overwhelm interceptors. The new ballistic Pukguksong-3 missile — the biggest of the bunch — is designed to be fired from a submarine and has an estimated range of 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles). At the October parade, it rolled out an even more advanced version, which likely has a greater range and payload capacity. Weapons experts say North Korea is also developing an ICBM that uses solid-propellant technology, potentially giving the U.S. less warning ahead of any strike aimed at the mainland.

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