N.Korea suspected of trying to develop ICBM

23/12/2012- North Korea is suspected of trying to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

South Korea's Defense Ministry worked with US experts to analyze debris from North Korea's missile it retrieved in the Yellow Sea. The North claims it launched a satellite-carrying rocket on December 12th.

A South Korean Defense Ministry official said the debris is from the first part of the 3-stage missile. It consists of a 7.5-meter-long oxidizer tank for fuel combustion.

The official said North Korea used red fuming nitric acid as an oxidizer, not liquid acid generally used for satellite launches.

He calls the use of storable oxidizer an indication the North intends to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The chemical substance enhances propelling power. The former Soviet Union used it in developing ballistic missiles.

The South Korean official says the tank is made of an aluminum alloy, suggesting the possibility of the North having used imported material.

He says if further examination proves the metal to have come from another country, the matter should be investigated under an international framework to prevent the proliferation of missile technology