North Korea launches ballistic missile from train

North Korea announced that it had tested a train-launched missile system to counter “forces threatening the country”.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Sunday’s ballistic missile launch was a test of a “new train-based missile system”, conducted by a railway missile regiment established earlier this year. . Published images show a blue projectile launched from a parked train in a hilly area.

A rocket leaves the launch pad on a train in North Korea on September 15.  Photo: KCNA.

A rocket leaves the launch pad on a train in North Korea on September 15. Photo: KCNA.

“This system is an effective countermeasure, capable of delivering multiple blows in succession to the forces threatening the country,” said General Pak Jong-chon, a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea. , said after supervising the test.

North Korea plans to increase the size of its railway missile regiment to a brigade in the near future, as well as to continuously train to gain experience for real conflict. “The military needs to prepare a battle plan to deploy this system in many areas of the country,” added General Pak.

“Train-based missiles are a relatively cheap and reliable option for countries that want to increase the survivability of their nuclear forces. The Soviet Union did it, the US has also considered that option. It’s understandable for North Korea,” said Adam Mount, an expert at the Association of American Scientists.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday that the North Korean ballistic missile flew about 800 km with a maximum altitude of 60 km. The launch comes just days after North Korea announced it had successfully tested a strategic cruise missile with a range of at least 1,500 kilometers.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on the same day confirmed that a North Korean missile had landed in the country’s exclusive economic zone, becoming the first North Korean missile to land in this area since October 2019.

North Korea is under a series of international sanctions because of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, while nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have not made much progress. Sung Kim, US President Joe Biden’s special envoy for North Korea, has repeatedly expressed his willingness to meet his North Korean counterparts “anywhere, at any time”.

Vu Anh (Follow KCNA)

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