Sunday, August 7, 2022

North Korea says it has tested train-launched missiles. Nation World News

Seoul, South Korea ( Associated Press) — North Korea said on Saturday that it tested ballistic missiles from a train, in what it saw as a clear retaliation against new sanctions imposed by the Biden administration.

North state media reports come a day after South Korea’s military said it had detected two missiles fired from the north into the sea in its third weapons launch this month.

The launch comes hours after Pyongyang’s foreign ministry issued a statement calling on the United States to impose new sanctions on the North’s previous tests and warning of stronger and more pronounced action if Washington maintains its “confrontational stance”. Gave.

North Korea has been ramping up testing of new missiles designed to bolster missile defenses in the region in recent months amid pandemic-related border closures and a halt in nuclear diplomacy with the United States.

Some experts say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is going back to a near-perfect technique of pressuring the United States and neighbors with missile launches and outrageous threats, before offering talks to make concessions.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Friday’s exercise was aimed at checking the alert posture of its army’s rail-borne missile regiment. Shortly after being ordered to test the missile, the troops quickly approached the launch site and fired two “tactical guided” missiles, which hit a sea target with precision, the report said.

The North’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper published pictures of two separate missiles flying above rail cars covered in smoke.

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Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea, said the North probably staged a launch that was not previously planned to demonstrate its opposition to US sanctions.

The missiles fired from rail cars appear to be a solid-fuel short-range weapon, which the North has apparently modeled after Russia’s Iskander mobile ballistic system. Tested for the first time in 2019, the missile is designed to maneuver and fly at low altitudes, potentially improving its chances of evading and defeating missile systems.

The North first launched these missiles in September last year as part of its efforts to diversify its launch options, which now include different vehicles and eventually submarines depending on the country’s progress in exploring such capabilities. May be.

Launching a missile from a train could increase mobility, but some experts say the simple rail network running through a relatively small area of ​​North Korea would be quickly destroyed by enemies during the crisis.

The Biden administration on Wednesday banned five North Koreans over their role in obtaining equipment and technology for the North’s missile programs in response to North Korea’s previous tests.

The Treasury Department’s announcement comes just hours after North Korea oversaw a successful test of a hypersonic missile on Tuesday, which it claimed would significantly increase the country’s nuclear “war deterrence”. Tuesday’s test was North Korea’s second display of its alleged hypersonic missile in a week.

Hours before Friday’s launch, KCNA attributed the North’s foreign ministry spokesman to an unnamed spokesman, who insisted the new sanctions underscore a hostile US intent aimed at “isolating and suppressing” the North.

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The spokesman warned that there would be a strong backlash if Washington continues its “confrontational stance”.

Hypersonic weapons, which fly at speeds greater than Mach 5 or more than five times the speed of sound, can pose a significant challenge to missile defense because of their speed and maneuverability.

Such weapons were on the wish-list of sophisticated military assets that Kim unveiled early last year with multi-warhead missiles, spy satellites, solid-fuel long-range missiles and submarine-launched nuclear missiles.

Still, experts say North Korea will need years and more successful and long-range tests before it can achieve a reliable hypersonic system.

A US-led diplomatic push aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program in 2019 after the Trump administration rejected the North’s demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

Kim has since pledged to further expand a nuclear arsenal, which he clearly sees as the strongest guarantee of its survival, bolstering the country’s economy in the face of pandemic-related border closures and persistent US-led sanctions. Despite the big setback.

His government has so far rejected calls from the Biden administration to resume talks without preconditions, saying the United States must first abandon its “hostile policy”, a word Pyongyang chief said. Used to describe sanctions and joint US-South Korea military exercises.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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