(From Reuters)

Ahead of a rare ruling party Congress next month, secretive North Korea is revealing details of its weapons development program for the first time, showcasing its push to develop long-range nuclear missiles despite international sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watches the ballistic rocket launch at unknown location

Until recently, information on the North’s weapons program was hard to come by, with foreign governments and experts relying on satellite imagery, tiny samples of atomic particles collected after nuclear tests and mangled parts and materials recovered from long-range rocket launches.

No longer. In just over a month, the North has published articles with technicolor photographic detail on a range of tests and other activities that point to fast-paced efforts to build a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The reason for the revelations, many analysts say, is that Pyongyang believes convincing the world, and its own people, of its nuclear prowess is as important as the prowess itself. Nevertheless, isolated North Korea’s true capabilities and intentions remain unknown.

“Close-up pictures of ground test activities are almost unprecedented from the DPRK,” John Schilling, an aerospace engineer specializing in satellite and launch vehicle propulsion systems, told Reuters. Read more

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