A North Korean ballistic missile leaves the launch pad on a train on September 15 – Photo: REUTERS/KCNA
On the morning of September 16, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) confirmed that the country’s military fired two ballistic missiles on September 15.
The accompanying published photos show the missile being fired from a railway carriage, unlike previous rockets fired with launchers mounted on wheeled vehicles or mobile tracked vehicles.
According to KCNA, the test-fire was aimed at testing “the practicality of the railway missile system deployed for the first time”, assessing its combat readiness and manoeuvrability in real combat. The test-fire took place under the supervision of Pak Jong Chon, the chief of the general staff of the North Korean army.
“The deployment of the combat rail missile system in line with the military modernization policy set out at the 8th Party Congress is of great significance in increasing the North’s war deterrence power,” he said. Tien,” KCNA quoted Park as saying.
North Korea’s missile test-firing took place on the same day that South Korea tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in the presence of President Moon Jae-in.
South Korea’s military and weapons development agency also released videos, the test of a cruise missile, a new generation anti-ship missile right on September 15.
In addition to the SLBM, the South Korean military also test-fired a long-range air-to-ground missile developed for future fighters.
South Korea’s defense development agency released a video of a test of a supersonic anti-ship missile on September 15 – Source: KOREA’S MINISTRY
Observers say that Seoul’s continuous release of missile videos and images is to send a message to Pyongyang.
The South Korean government also appears to want to reassure the public about the nation’s military capabilities, following criticism that the country’s military failed to detect North Korea’s cruise missile test last weekend.
The moves of the two Koreas have raised concerns that the two countries are in an arms race.
“Railway-based mobile missiles are a relatively cheap and reliable option for countries looking to improve the survivability of their nuclear forces,” said Adam Mount, a member of the United Nations Security Council. Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists.
“Russia has done it, the US has considered that too,” Mr. Mount noted. The system may be limited by North Korea’s relatively old rail network, according to Mount and other analysts.
North Korea’s Chief of the General Staff, Pak Jong Chon, has confirmed that the railway missile regiment will be expanded into a brigade-sized force in the near future. This force will conduct training to gain “real combat experience”.
According to Pak, the North Korean military is preparing plans to deploy the system in other parts of the country.