A few notes on The Defensive Forces of North Korea.

By: Albert van der Sel
Version: 0.0
Date: 8 Januari, 2020
Subject: Limited overview of The Defensive Forces of North Korea (NK).
Status: Just starting.

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As you know, NK is a bit of a black box, although, ofcourse, lots of facts are known.

However, there are still "all sorts of bits" of unknowns. Take for example their current amount
of operational Nuclear Warheads. The estimates in professional articles and other texts, vary widely.

I like to try to create a note on their Conventional Forces. That means for example: which Subs do they have?
What is their collection of ballistic missiles? What about the Airforce? What about SAM batteries...?
All such sort of questions...

To try to analyze NK is difficult, and lots of specs of "devices" are rather uncertain.
My procedure usually is, to scout all sorts of public sources (among which are Military articles,
and open/public Military collections), and try to get a "rationale" from all those sources.

Yes, I find this most interresting (but otherwise..., I believe I am "normal", I hope...).

It may sound silly, but I (as a simple privite citizen) always had some doubts on true ICBM capabilities of NK.

However, as I presently study the capabilities more and more, it seems indeed to be true that ICBM capabilities
are a fact in present times. Some Test launches were done (rather recently) to a very high altitude, but can also be used
for lower altitudes and longer ranges. If you would ask me now today: "Do you believe in NK having
ICBM capabilities?" Then I would answer positively.

For those tests, it is ofcourse extremely interesting if they were performed with a representative (dummy) warhead.

The warhead complicates things a bit. First, at re-entry, "the re-entry vehicle (RV)" is a sort of mantle
protecting the actual warhead on decend.

Out of the atmosphere, the RV (or last stage), typically moves with a speed > Mach 20.
At descend, the RV quickly decellerates. At lower altitudes, the RV still typically has a speed of 6 - 9 km/s,
and obviously the warhead needs protection. The RV is meant to offer that protection.
If you would happen to know some specifics of modern RV's, then today they have the appearance of a "sharp" cone
with a very small nose in front. Together with a surface layer, which erodes away in a controlled way on re-entry,
makes it possible that a warhead can survive the (rather brutal) decend in the amosphere.
It's technology which cannot be unknown to the technicians of NK. Interesting indeed.

So yes. My recent "study" on the military of NK, did indeed changed my perspective on NK's capabilities.
Ofcourse, an ICBM is obviously meant to deliver a nuclear warhead over large distances.
But, those large missiles are certainly a subject in this note.