U.S., Japanese navies searching for North Korean missile debris to gather intel


Warships belonging to the U.S. and Japanese navies sailed to waters where North Korea’s Hwasong-15 missile splashed down following a Wednesday test with hopes of retrieving debris and learning more about the weapon.

Vessels traveled to the splashdown area located about 155 miles west of Aomori prefecture, the northernmost part of Japan’s main island of Honshu.

U.S. intelligence officials say locating missile debris will be difficult because it appeared to break up as it reentered the atmosphere. That said, previous test-launches by North Korea have provided U.S. and Japanese intelligence with a trove of useful data:

For example, debris recovered from a Feb. 7, 2016, rocket launch revealed several foreign-sourced commercial components. They included ball bearings with Cyrillic characters indicating Russian-origin components. Also, a Chinese infrared camera was recovered and traced by a U.N. panel of experts to the Beijing East Machinery High-Tech Technology Co. Ltd. Pressure transmitters manufactured in Britain also were found and traced backed to transshipments from Taiwan to North Korea. [source]

Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 2:  What is the current situation report and risk of war in each of the four flashpoints?

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