NORTH KOREA HAS FIRED TWO SHORT-RANGE TACTICAL
MISSILES OFF ITS EAST COAST
SEOUL – North Korea has tested short-range missiles in the Sea of Japan (known as the East Sea in Korea), in an apparent attempt to counter-act joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
“North Korea test-launched a short-range missile in the East Sea [Sea of Japan] this afternoon, amid the ongoing security crisis on the Korean peninsula following Pyongyang’s third nuclear test last month,” Yonhap news said.
The source, Yonhap said, was a military source within the South Korean government. The North Korean military launched two KN-02 short-range missiles into international waters, the report said.
Graphic: BBC News
KN-02 missiles are mobile missiles. Based on the Soviet-era OTR-21 Tochka, they are launched from the back of SCUD-like trucks (see above headline image) and, of all North Korean missiles, they have the shortest range, as the above BBC infographic shows.
The short-range missile is a domestic variant of the Syrian ‘Scarab A’ missile, and has a range of 120-140km. It is usually used to take out large building targets and, when miniaturized, can carry a small, tactical, nuclear load.
John Swenson-Wright senior lecturer in East Asian International Relations at the University of Cambridge told NK NEWS earlier today “the danger of uncontrolled escalation in this situation seems real and therefore something to be managed very very carefully.”
“The real problem is one of miscalculation and misjudgement by either side – with the North believing it can risk a provocation comparable to the 2010 Yeonpyeong shelling, and the South determined to respond decisively.”
NORTH KOREA HOLDS LIVE FIRE DRILLS NEAR
DISPUTED MARITIME BORDER
WASHINGTON D.C. – Kim Jong Un supervised a live artillery drill close to a disputed maritime border with South Korea, North Korean state media outlet KCNA reported Thursday morning.
On the same day, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won flew to Yeonpyeong island, just a few miles south from where North Korean drills had taken place, to inspect evacuation facilities and a Marine Corps office.
KCNA said today that the purpose of the latest drill was to “examine the real war fighting capabilities of artillery sub-units in the hotspots whose mission is to strike Taeyonphyong and Paekryong Islands.” South Korea refers to the same islands as Yeonpyeong (an island shelled in a November 2010 attack that killed four ROK citizens) and Baengnyeong.