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What is behind all missile launches by North Korea this week?

계속되는 북한 도발…그 이유는?

As we just saw, it was yet another bumpy week here on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea ramped up its weapons tests in a show of military might this week.
What has triggered the North’s show of aggression and what do all these missiles mean for peace on the peninsula?
Our defense correspondent Kim Yeon-seung has been following up on the regime’s latest.
Welcome Yeon-seung.

North Korea really has been using this week to flaunt its wide range of military might.
Each weapons test this week has involved a different missile, including a submarine-launched strategic cruise missile, a solid-fueled ballistic missile, and what’s suspected to be the Hwasong-17, and intercontinental ballistic missile.

And this timing for their show of belligerence is very much intentional, right?

Yes, absolutely.
Seoul and Washington are holding their biggest joint drills in years this week — code-named ‘Freedom Shield’.
And there was the first bilateral summit in 12 years between the leaders of South Korea and Japan.
So there was a lot going on for North Korea to register as a threat, for them to really harsh up their fiery tone.

Right, which we will get back to in a minute.
So first, walk us through North Korea’s weapons test this week.
You’ve mentioned submarine-launched missiles?

South Korea’s military detected a fresh round of submarine-launched missiles fired from North Korea’s east coast.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, described these projectiles that traveled over 600 kilometers as “unidentified”… but a news report from North Korea’s state-led news agency later said these submarine launches were of strategic cruise missiles.
Now, the word “strategic” is used to describe a more formidable weapon that yields more power than would be called a “tactical” weapon, and also hints at the ability to carry a nuclear warhead.
This is especially noteworthy, because if North Korea’s reports are true, this would be the first success case of North Korea’s submarine-launched strategic cruise missile, showing their advances in firearms.

Right, submarine-launched missiles are also more challenging to detect.
North Korea also test-fired short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday.
Tell us more about that.

Right, photos suggest that these missiles to be the KN-23 — a solid-fueled short-range ballistic missile.

This one is a tactical guided weapon but it’s solid-fueled, which means it’s easier to launch quickly.
It’s also designed to fly at a lower trajectory, so it has a shorter flight time; and it’s upgraded to perform maneuvers to avoid interception, so it’s also harder to track.
This time, North Korea also traveled a little farther down south to test this weapon than from where it usually tests weapons.
The experts say this was to send a bigger warning to South Korea.

Now let’s talk about the latest one.
This one was the most formidable missile involved in the week’s weapons tests?

Traveling about 1-thousand kilometers to the East Sea.
The missile was fired at a high angle flew at a maximum altitude of six-thousand kilometers and landed around 250 kilometers west of Japan’s Oshima Island in Hokkaido prefecture.
North Korea’s state-led Korean Central News Agency said these launches involved the intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-17.
Reports show him bringing his daughter along firearms drill.
This marks North Korea’s seventh successful ICBM launch since 2017.

Hwasong-17 is one of North Korea’s most state-of-the-art weapons, right?
I remember this missile stirring some concern last year.
Even the Japanese Defense minister mentioned that with a potential range of 15-thousand kilometers it can reach the continental U.S., if fired from a normal angle.

Yes, that’s right.
South Korea’s JCS said that intelligence agents are working closely with U.S. counterparts to investigate North Korea’s actual military might and its claims this week.

Till when is North Korea going to be gearing up more test launches?
What did the experts say?

Well, experts foresee North Korea’s threats to continue most likely throughout Freedom Shield- so until next Thursday.
I’m going to be on standby next week as well, so to our viewers– stay tuned to Arirang News…

#NorthKorea #Missile #ICBM #Provocation #Projectiles #KimJongUn #KoreanPeninsula

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2023-03-18, 12:00 (KST)


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