Fresh Fear: North Korea's New Mobile Missile
The KN-08 no longer seems like such a fake
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2013 6:42 AM CST
In this April 15, 2012 file photo, a North Korean vehicle carries a missile.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

(Newser) – With a new generation of intermediate-range rocket being moved around the country on mobile missile launchers, North Korea is increasingly worrying American intelligence agencies, reports the New York Times. US officials don't expect the KN-08 missile to be ready for operational deployment in the immediate future, but the realization that the mobile units have been peppered across the country has them re-evaluating whether the country's missile capabilities are maturing faster than previously believed.

The KN-08—unveiled in April and largely written off as a fake at the time—reportedly has the range to reach Japan and parts of Southeast Asia, and sources say individual parts of the rocket have been tested. The Times notes that the launchers' movements could be part of an intentional bid to grab the US' attention, as North Korea is fully aware that it's being tracked by American spy satellites. While Kim Jong Un has given many signs that he wants to modernize the moribund North Korean economy, he's also been vocal about the need to maintain military strength.