Nile water levels continue to decline in Sudan after devastating floods: Ministry    New UK lockdown likely sooner rather than later, ex-advisor warns    Lebanon's army finds firework cache at devastated Beirut port    Manchester United working hard in the transfer market, says Solskjaer    Two dead as rare storm hits central Greece    Leicester in talks with Roma for Under, says coach Rodgers    Aguero could be out of action until November: City boss Guardiola    India parliament session may be cut short as COVID-19 cases among lawmakers rise: Sources    Taiwan scrambles fighters as Chinese jets again fly near island    Global virus cases top 30 million, tally shows    Egypt's nominee is out of the race for WTO director-general    Cairo Ring Road to be expanded from 8 lanes to 14: Transport minister    Giza Plateau official denies rumours two highways are under construction at archaeological site    Egypt's NEA announces results of Senate election run-offs    Kuwaiti NBK to launch Meeza prepaid cards in Egyptian market    Egyptian documentary 'Lift Like a Girl' premieres in Toronto to positive reviews    Climate theories on Sudan    Egypt's culture minister receives UNESCO registration of the Palm on List of Human Heritage    Egyptian insurance companies' premiums 9.6% up in five months    Egypt's President Sisi names new head of anti-corruption watchdog    Egypt's c.bank offers 18 bln pounds T-bills on Sunday    EgyptAir offering discounts for some international flights    Egypt records 212 new coronavirus cases, 14 deaths on Saturday    Egypt to require PCR coronavirus tests for airport travelers    Egypt sends 125 tonnes of glass by sea to Beirut    Legend Messi officially wants to leave Barcelona, hands transfer request    Global smartphone sales drop 20% in Q2, yet Apple's iPhone sales steady    Sisi: Egypt keen on establishing development projects with Iraq, Jordan    Egyptian megastar Amr Diab releases new hit music video    Making of Harry Potter will be available for fans at new park in Tokyo    Egypt's Senate elections official results to be announced Wednesday    Netflix Egypt is bringing megastar Amr Diab back with a new original    Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing for first time since April    Egypt's senate elections 2020 trending on social media in few days    African Champions League final will be played on Oct. 16-17, CAF says    No room to delay Egyptian Premier League games – EFA's board member    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





North Korea says it tested crucial new rocket launch system
Published in Ahram Online on 01 - 08 - 2019

North Korea said Thursday leader Kim Jong Un supervised the first test firing of a new multiple rocket launcher system that could potentially enhance its ability to strike targets in South Korea and U.S. military bases there.
The report by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency differed from the assessment by South Korea's military, which had concluded Wednesday's launches were of two short-range ballistic missiles.
The launches from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan were North Korea's second weapons test in less than a week and were seen as a move to keep up pressure on Washington and Seoul amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations. Pyongyang has also expressed anger over planned U.S.-South Korea military drills.
KCNA said Kim expressed satisfaction over the test firing and said the newly developed rocket system would soon serve a ``main role'' in his military's land combat operations and create an ``inescapable distress to the forces becoming a fat target of the weapon.''
The report didn't directly mention the United States or South Korea, but experts say the rocket system, along with new short-range missiles the North tested last week, could potentially pose a serious threat to South Korea's defense. North Korea places thousands of rocket launchers and artillery pieces near its border with South Korea, and its perceived ability to quickly devastate the Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of South Koreans live, has been a central part of its strategy to deter military action from its rivals.
KCNA provided no specific descriptions of how the ``large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system'' performed, but said the test confirmed the system's ``combat effectiveness.'' North Korean state TV released still photos that showed Kim, smiling and equipped with binoculars, watching the launches from a viewing deck and a rocket soaring out of what appeared to be a launcher installed on a truck. The network obscured the images of the launcher and vehicle, apparently to limit outside analysis of the system.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday that the weapons it assessed as missiles flew about 250 kilometers (155 miles) at an apogee of 30 kilometers (19 miles), a range that would be enough to cover the region surrounding Seoul and a major U.S. military base just south of the city.
Kim Dong-yub, an analyst from Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies, said the North might have tested an improved version of its 300-millimeter multiple rocket launcher system or an entirely new system, such as 400-millimeter rockets.
When asked whether it failed to distinguish between multiple-rocket launchers and ballistic missiles, the JCS said South Korean and U.S. militaries shared an assessment that the flight characteristics from Wednesday's launches were similar to North Korea's new short-range missiles tested last week. JCS official Kim Joon-rak said further analysis was needed to identify the weapons.
South Korea's military had said the flight data of the missile launched last week showed similarities to the Russian-made Iskander, a solid-fuel, nuclear-capable missile that is highly maneuverable and travels on lower trajectories compared to conventional ballistic weapons.
Choi Hyun-soo, spokeswoman of Seoul's Defense Ministry, refused to answer when asked whether it's possible that the North might have mixed in a ballistic missile launch while testing its new rocket system.
In a closed-door briefing to lawmakers, officials from South Korea's National Intelligence Service said North Korea might extend its weapons tests into August. The spy agency believes the North would want to demonstrate its displeasure over the planned U.S.-South Korea military exercises and the South's acquisition of advanced weapons such as F-35 fighter jets while also speeding up its own weapons development before it gets deeper in nuclear negotiations with the United States, lawmaker Lee Eun-jae said.
U.S. officials have downplayed the threat of the launches to the United States and its allies.
Analysts say North Korea, with its consecutive weapons tests, is demonstrating displeasure with the pace of nuclear diplomacy with Washington. The North's testing activity could intensify if the negotiations do not proceed rapidly over the next few months, said Srinivasan Sitaraman, a North Korea expert at Clark University in Massachusetts.
By firing weapons that directly threaten South Korea but not the U.S. mainland or its Pacific territories, North Korea also appears to be dialing up pressure on Seoul and testing how far Washington will tolerate its bellicosity without actually causing the nuclear negotiations to collapse, other experts say.
Last Thursday, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles that Seoul officials said flew 600 kilometers (370 miles) and as high as 50 kilometers (30 miles) before landing in the sea. North Korea said those tests were designed to deliver a ``solemn warning'' to South Korea over its purchase of high-tech, U.S.-made fighter jets and the planned military drills, which Pyongyang calls an invasion rehearsal. The North also tested short-range missiles on May 4 and 9.
Earlier last week, Kim visited a newly built submarine and expressed his satisfaction with its weapons system. North Korea said its deployment was ``near at hand.''
In a private briefing to lawmakers Wednesday, South Korean military intelligence officers said they've determined that the submarine likely has three launch tubes for missiles. If confirmed, it would be North Korea's first operational submarine with missile launch tubes, some experts said.


Clic here to read the story from its source.