South Korea on Thursday said it has fielded a new cruise missile that could reach all parts of North Korea, Reuters reported (see GSN, Sept. 27, 2011).
"The (locally made cruise missile) has the capability to hit any facility or personnel in all areas of North Korea in whatever time frame as necessary," according to Maj. Gen. Shin Won-shik, a policy planning officer at the South Korean Defense Ministry. "We're making this public to underscore our commitment to respond to the North's missile threat and military provocation."
The announcement came after the U.N. Security Council on Monday rebuked Pyongyang for the launch of a long-range rocket that broke apart and fell into the Yellow Sea within minutes of liftoff. While the North said it intended to send an observation satellite into orbit, the launch was widely seen as another test of the nation's ballistic missile capabilities.
In response to the U.N. condemnation, North Korea formally canceled a deal under which it would have received 240,000 metric tons of U.S. food aid in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment and select other nuclear operations and held off on further nuclear or long-range missile tests. It hinted at further provocations; issue experts have said the North might try to save face by conducting another missile or nuclear test or by attacking South Korea (see related GSN story, today).
What appeared to be a new North Korean ballistic missile was also rolled out during a military parade on Sunday (see related GSN story, today; Kim/Dash, Reuters, April 19).
The Yonhap News Agency reported that the South's latest cruise missiles have a range in excess of 625 miles, according to Agence France-Presse.
Seoul pledged in a 2001 agreement with the United States to deploy ballistic missiles with ranges no greater than 185 miles. That accord is being updated and in any case does not place restrictions on low-altitude cruise missiles.
North Korea missile arsenal is believed to include 600 Scud systems that could be used against South Korea, along with 200 Rodong missiles that could fly as far as Tokyo, AFP reported. Pyongyang has yet to conduct a fully successful test flight of its long-range Taepodong missiles (Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, April 19).
The South on Thursday issued video of the test of a cruise missile of the Hyunmoo series, the New York Times reported. Additional video displayed a ballistic missile trial firing (Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, April 19).
South Korea on Thursday said it has fielded a new cruise missile that could reach all parts of North Korea, Reuters reported.