CBRN Assessment

North Korean missile test, probably around 16 February holiday, likely to demonstrate progress to nuclear missile capability

30 January 2017

Key Points

  • In his New Year's address, North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, said that preparations for a test-launch of an "intercontinental ballistic rocket" [sic] were in their final stages.
  • The most likely timing of a demonstration of North Korea's ballistic missile capability is around the 16 February anniversary of former leader Kim Jong-il's birthday.
  • North Korea's increasing missile capabilities, along with the closed or slow channels of communication between North and South Korea, and between North Korea and China, plus discretion given to local South Korean commanders, increase the risks of unintended escalation towards conflict on the Korean peninsula.

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