North Korea officially described the latest
missiles it launched on Saturday as a “new
According to military sources, there are similarities
to ATACMS, used by the U.S. Army.
Kim Ji-yeon explains further.
North Korea’s claim that it test-fired a “new
weapons system” different from the ones it
already had… does carry weight.
Apart from the fact that each launcher load
can carry two missiles, a military source
said the missiles launched by North Korea
last Saturday appeared to have traits similar
to the U.S. Army’s surface-to-surface tactical
missile system, known as ATACMS… in that
they can scatter hundreds of sub-munitions…
during the final dive-in phase… into an
area of three or four soccer fields simultaneously…
with the aim of inflicting pervasive damage.
That’s different from the ballistic missiles
launched by the North during the series of
launches conducted over the two weeks since
July 25th… aimed at targeting a specific
location or building.
Local media outlets have speculated that North
Korea’s latest missiles are particularly critical
in that they’re capable of inflicting damage
to key military air bases in South Korea that
house F-35A stealth fighter jets,… making
it difficult to restore runways when they’re
They’re thought to be hard to intercept considering
their low flight altitude,… which was recorded
at some 48 kilometers,… and their maximum
flight speed of Mach six-point-one,… which
is around 7-thousand-466 kilometers per hour.
They’re different from the other short-range
ballistic missiles the North has launched
this summer, which South Korea’s Joint Chiefs
of Staff had said, based on simulations, that
they’re able to neutralize… using the Patriot
The spokesperson for the presidential office
of Cheong Wa Dae, however, countered speculation
Monday that it is not true South Korea is
unprepared to counter the missiles currently
being fired by North Korea… and that the
government has always stated North Korea’s
short-range ballistic missiles could be intercepted
by the anti-missile systems based on the Patriot.
Based on photographs released by the North,
the latest weapon is not believed to be same
one it test-fired on July 31st… which local
military experts said appeared to be a mutliple-launch
rocket system equipped with a caliber of 400
milimeters, a size which is bigger than the
300 milimeters seen until now.
“And local experts say that means it’s now
capable of targeting critical facilities in
South Korea more accurately.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.”