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Technology

North Korea's new missile may herald multiple-warhead payloads

Hwasong-15's size and shape signal leap in capabilities

KENICHI YAMADA, Nikkei staff writer | North Korea

SEOUL -- The powerful rocket North Korea launched Wednesday could be a step toward missiles capable of carrying multiple warheads, analysts have said after seeing pictures of the new and improved projectile.

Rodong Sinmun, a mouthpiece for the North's ruling Workers' Party of Korea, published photos of the Hwasong-15, the country's latest intercontinental ballistic missile, at liftoff and mounted on what appears to be a newly developed mobile launch system. The missile seems to involve a completely new rocket, judging by its size and shape, South Korea's Ministry of National Defense said Thursday. The ministry's initial analysis Wednesday claimed the Hwasong-15 was merely a retooled version of the Hwasong-14 ICBMs launched in July.

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