North Korea tested new ‘tactical guided projectile’ to carry larger warheads

0
19

[ad_1]

This picture taken on March 25, 2021 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 26, 2021 shows a test fire of newly developed new-type tactical guided projectile in an undisclosed location in North Korea - AFP

This picture taken on March 25, 2021 and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 26, 2021 shows a test fire of newly developed new-type tactical guided projectile in an undisclosed location in North Korea – AFP

North Korea launched a “newly developed new-type tactical guided projectile” on Thursday, in its first test of a ballistic missile since US president Joe Biden took office, the country’s state media reported on Friday.

The new weapon system had been upgraded to carry warheads of 2.5 tons, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The United States swiftly condemned Pyongyang’s “destabilising ballistic missile launches” on Thursday, stressing that they “violate multiple UN Security Council resolutions and threaten the region and the broader international community.”

President Biden said Washington remained open to diplomacy with North Korea but warned of future responses if the situation escalated.

The new administration is currently completing a policy review of relations with the reclusive country, which have been frozen since failed nuclear talks between former President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi in 2019.

Nigel Adams, the UK’s minister for Asia, also condemned the launch. “North Korea must refrain from further provocations, and engage in meaningful negotiations with the US,” he said.

The KCNA report suggested Kim did not inspect Thursday’s launch even though analysts believe the new technology represents a significant upgrade of Pyongyang’s military capabilities.

The two missiles “accurately hit the target” set in the water 600 kilometres off the East Coast, it said, adding that the improved version of a solid fuel engine – which makes the weapon system more responsive – had been confirmed through several ground tests.

Experts say the Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) that was fired could be a new version of the North’s KN-23 missile, which resembles Russia’s Iskander, and which was showcased during a military parade in Pyongyang in January.

Photos released by state media show that the new tactical guided projectile has a conical warhead in black and white colors, resembling those paraded.

“I think the story with this KN23 variant is this massive payload upgrade. This gives North Korea the flexibility to use a not-so-compact nuclear warhead on this missile,” tweeted Vipin Narang, an associate professor and nuclear proliferation expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

On Thursday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the two short-range missiles were fired at around 7:06 a.m. and 7:25 a.m. from an area on the North’s eastern coast and flew 279 miles on an apogee of 37 miles before landing in the sea.

It said South Korea’s military has stepped up monitoring in case of “further provocations” from the North.



[ad_2]

Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here