Can South Korea’s defense shield thwart the North’s new short-range missile?

May 9, 2019

Defense News – North Korea’s recent firing of a new type of short-range missile is raising questions about the feasibility of South Korea’s missile defense capability.

On May 4, North Korea fired a salvo of rockets and tactical guided weapons near the east coast city of Wonsan, marking the first military provocation in 17 months, during a live-fire drill reportedly attended by its leader Kim Jong Un. The projectiles flew 70-240 kilometers before crashing into the eastern waters off the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Shin Jong-woo, a senior analyst at the Seoul-based Korea Defense and Security Forum, analyzed photos of the weapons systems released by the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency a day after the test launch.

“The newly tested weapon, which had been made public during a military parade last year, appears to the Russian Iskander look-alike,” he said. “The design of wings and warhead shown in the photos resembles that of Iskander, and the North Korean missile seems to copy the solid-propellant, single-stage guided missile of the Russian precision ballistic missile complex.

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