North Korea will test railroad missiles with the latest launch amid heightened tensions with the United States

File Photo: March 19, 2021, the North Korean flag flutters at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. REUTERS / Lim Huey Teng / File Photo

January 15, 2022

Shin Hyun Hee

Seoul (Reuters) – North Korea tested railroad missiles in launch training on Friday, state media KCNA said on Saturday in a U.S. move to seek new sanctions on isolated states following a recent series of weapons tests. Said in.

South Korea’s co-staff head traveled about 430 km (267 miles) to a maximum altitude of 36 km (22 miles) after two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) were launched eastward on the northwest coast of North Korea. Said.

The official Korean Central News Agency did not specify the missile’s range or trajectory, but said that launch training was conducted in North Pyongan to “check and judge the proficiency of the railway corps’ action procedures.”

The country first tested a railroad-based system last September and said it was designed as a potential counter-strike against threatening forces.

Since New Year’s Day, North Korea has launched three ballistic missiles in a very fast series of weapons tests. The previous two launches involved state media called “hypersonic missiles” that could be steered after launch at high speeds.

Hours before the latest test run, North Korea accused the United States of pursuing new sanctions in response to recent missile launches, calling it a “provocation” and warning of a strong reaction.

US President Joe Biden’s administration imposed initial sanctions on Pyongyang on Wednesday, calling on the UN Security Council to blacklist several North Korean individuals and groups.

North Korea defended the missile test as a sovereignty of self-defense and accused the United States of deliberately exacerbating the situation with new sanctions.

North Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong Un did not participate in the training. The KCNA said military leadership ordered the test “with a sudden notice” and the system accurately attacked the target set on the East Coast with “two tactical guided missiles.”

The system “showed high mobility and hit rates,” KCNA said, adding that its success led to discussions to “set up an appropriate railroad-mounted missile operation system nationwide.”

North Korea is steadily developing its weapons system, raising stakes in stagnant negotiations aimed at dismantling nuclear ballistic missile weapons in exchange for easing US sanctions.

South Korea’s Chung Eui-yong and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken have accused the latest launch on Saturday’s phone call and coordinated North Korea’s response to recent missile tests, according to the State Department.

Both sides emphasized the importance of maintaining a solid readiness and urged North Korea to return to the negotiating table, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said.

‘With a short notice’

Jung Sung-chan, director of North Korean research at the Sejong Institute in South Korea, said the test could be an “immediate indication of power” to protest US sanctions and was planned in advance. He said it was done abnormally. afternoon.

“The message is that if Washington demands sanctions to test non-long-range missiles, they will take an’eye-to-eye’approach,” Chung said.

KCNA has released a photo of a missile tracking a pillar of smoke and fire as it is launched from the top of an olive-green train in the mountains. ..

Despite North Korea’s limited and sometimes unreliable rail network, rail mobile missiles are a relatively cheap and efficient option for improving nuclear survival, before the enemy is launched. Analysts said it made it difficult to detect and destroy them.

Former South Korean Navy officer Kim Dong-yup, who teaches at Kyung Nam University in Seoul, said North Korea apparently launched a KN-23 SRBM when it flew 800 km (497 miles) in September. Said it was test fired.

First tested in May 2019, the KN-23, according to experts, is visually similar to the Russian Iskander-M SRBM and is designed to evade missile defense and make precision attacks. increase.

(Report by Hyonhee Shin and Josh Smith, edited by Leslie Adler, Sandra Maler, Simon Cameron-Moore)

North Korea will test railroad missiles with the latest launch amid heightened tensions with the United States

Source link North Korea will test railroad missiles with the latest launch amid heightened tensions with the United States

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