North Korea has drastically shortened the time needed to prepare for missile launches by improving liquid fuel quality for ballistic missiles, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo daily has reported.
The report said citing a government source that this could virtually incapacitate South Korea’s current missile defense system, which “used to be thought possible to detect a North Korean launch of ballistic missiles in advance because the liquid fuel had to be pumped into the missiles right before the launch.”
However, analysis of intelligence reports shows that the North’s ballistic missiles can now stay in standby mode for several months “even after they are injected with liquid fuel because its quality has improved.”
This would give Pyongyang more flexibility in deciding when to launch a missile.
According to the report, North Korea has around 1,000 ballistic missiles, most of which use liquid fuel.