North Korea leader Kim Jong-un visited his country’s Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Sciences and instructed the workers there to improve the missile systems. Pictures of him at the center were published by the state-run KCNA news agency. Some of the photos show breakthroughs never before seen by Western experts.







Kim touring the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Sciences

Kim touring the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Sciences Photo Credit: KCNA/Channel 2 News

New images from North Korea, which were released on Wednesday by the local media, reveal surprising developments in Pyongyang’s missile program. Experts stated in interviews with CNN that the photos show previously unseen breakthroughs, which are extremely concerning given the ongoing war of words between Washington and Pyongyang.

North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency announced today that leader Kim Jong-un visited the country’s Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Sciences. According to the report, he instructed the employees at the institute to produce more fuel for rocket engines and improve the missile systems. According to David Schmerler, a research associate at the Monterey Institute of International Studies’ James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies who spoke with CNN, in the photographs of Kim touring the facility, North Korea is “showing us, or at least portraying, that their solid-fuel missile program is improving at a steady rate.”







Kim touring the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Sciences

Kim touring the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Sciences Photo Credit: KCNA/Channel 2 News

In another picture, Kim is seen standing near a poster on a wall that mentions “Pukguksong-3,” the name of a missile that is most likely a solid-fuel, medium-range projectile. “Solid fuel missiles are much faster to deploy … a solid fuel missile is always fueled so all they have to do is drive it to the place they want to launch it,” explained Michael Duitsman, a research associate at the James Martin Center. “It’s much easier to put into action, much harder to catch before it launches because they’re a lot less in terms of launch preparations that could be done.”

US President Donald Trump spoke in front of supporters last night and commented on the tensions with North Korea. Trump expressed optimism about relations with Kim, who, according to Trump, is “starting to respect” the US. “Maybe something positive can come about,” he said.