The Daily Beast reports the U.S. Navy recovered the front section of a North Korean rocket used to launch a satellite back in December. Having direct access to North Korean rocket technology gives us a clearer picture of the regime’s ability to launch a missile equipped with a nuclear payload.
The Daily Beast: Exclusive: How North Korea Tipped Its Hand — The same basic engineering and science needed to launch a satellite into space is also used in the multistage rockets known as intercontinental ballistic missiles. The front of the satellite rocket, according to three U.S. officials who work closely on North Korean proliferation, gave tangible proof that North Korea was building the missile’s cone at dimensions for a nuclear warhead, durable enough to be placed on a long-range missile that could reenter the earth’s atmosphere from space.
“Having access to the missile front was a critical insight we had not had before,” one U.S. nonproliferation official tells The Daily Beast. “I have seen a lot of drawings, but we had not seen the piece of that missile at that time.” This official continues: “We looked at the wreckage from the launc,h and we put it together with other kinds of intelligence and came to this judgment that they had figured out the warhead piece.”
I don’t think this changes our basic understanding of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, but it should help refine the technological timetable of a country run by 29-year-old dictator, Kim Jong-un.
But let’s forget about crazy dystopian dictators for just a moment and focus on the bigger takeaway from this article: We have 16 intelligence agencies? Did you know that? I know I didn’t. I know about the CIA, the NSA, and I was aware that there are several military-based intelligence agencies, but I had no idea there were 16!
- Independent agencies
- United States Department of Defense
- Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA)
- Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM)
- Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
- Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA)
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
- National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
- National Security Agency (NSA)
- Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
- United States Department of Energy
- United States Department of Homeland Security
- United States Department of Justice
- United States Department of State
- United States Department of the Treasury