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North Korea puts missile plans on show, steps up production

SEOUL North Korea revealed plans for its missile programme yesterday as Mr Kim Jong Un ordered stepped-up production of rocket engines and intercontinental ballistic missile nosecones.

Analysts said the photos released of Mr Kim's visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defence Science revealed major technology advances and ambitions.

Mr Kim was shown next to a tube that Mr Joshua Pollack of the US Middlebury Institute of International Studies said on Twitter was a "wound fibre cylinder, evidently a large-diameter solid-rocket motor casing in the making".

It appeared to be made of Kevlar or fibreglass, added independent missile and nuclear analyst George Herbert.

Other images carried by the Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the North's ruling party, included missile schematics.

Many elements on show were objectives rather than existing technology, analysts said, but even so, Mr Jeffrey Lewis, of armscontrolwonk.com, noted: "It is all bad.

"If I understand North Korean propaganda, this is their way of telling us what we will see in the air in the coming year."- AFP

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