April Showers: Data Indicates More North Korean Missiles to Come

Beyond Parallel has been predicting a spring season full of North Korean activity. Last month bore that prediction out already with four ballistic missiles launched simultaneously on March 6, one failed ballistic missile launch on March 22, and two additional rocket/missile engine tests. In its latest action, on April 5, North Korea fired a ballistic missile from a location near the city of Sinpo which flew approximately 37 miles into the sea east of the Korean peninsula. Beyond Parallel datasets and big data analytics powered by Predata indicate we can expect more North Korean activity throughout April.

  • A Predata-Beyond Parallel prediction indicates there is a 55% chance of North Korean missile tests taking place in the next 14 days. In the next 30 days, there is a 78% likelihood of North Korean missile tests.
  • Immediately prior to the most recent ballistic missile launch, both the signal’s 30-day and 14-day exponential moving average displayed a significant overnight increase on both March 27 and April 2, a change exceeding the 95th percentile of all their overnight changes in the past year.

Click here for Interactive Signals.

These signal predictions are corroborated by other Beyond Parallel empirical studies of North Korean behavior and events on the Korean peninsula.

  • Given the negative state of U.S.-North Korea relations thus far this year, the remainder of the spring exercise period is ripe for North Korean provocations. The annual U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises are scheduled to conclude this year at the end of April.
  • The April 5 missile launch came just prior to the first summit meeting of U.S. president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping in Florida. North Korea is expected to be a significant part of their discussions.
  • April 15 is the Day of the Sun in North Korea, an important public holiday commemorating Kim Il Sung’s birthday. Last year, North Korea celebrated the date with an attempted missile launch. To mark the 100-year anniversary of the founder’s birthday in 2012, North Korea showcased for the first time a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (the KN-08). Such displays celebrate the success of North Korea and its military strength.