North Korea ‘launched ballistic missiles from train’
Seoul, Sep 16 (EFE).- The two ballistic missiles tested by North Korea on Wednesday were fired from a train, state media has announced, in what is a first for this type of launch for the regime.
“The railway-borne missile regiment took part in the drill with a mission to strike the target area 800 kilometers away from its location after moving to the central mountainous area at dawn on September 15,” state news agency KCNA reported on Thursday.
According to the South Korean army, Pyongyang launched the two projectiles Wednesday from Yangdeok (70 kilometers east of the capital), in the province of South Pyongan, flying about 800 km at a maximum altitude of 60 km before falling into the Sea of Japan (called the East Sea in the two Koreas).
Photos released by KCNA show missiles being fired from train cars, rather than from the usual transporter erector launcher.
With this new launch system, North Korea seems to want to increase its capacity for deploying and firing missiles from various geographic locations.
“The railway-borne missile system serves as an efficient counter-strike means capable of dealing a harsh multi-concurrent blow to the threat-posing forces through separate performances of firepower duty in different parts of the country,” KCNA said.
However, state media did not specify what type of missiles were launched.
The launch was chaired by General Pak Jong-chon, a member of the presidium of the one-party politburo. Pak was also present at a test launch last weekend of a new model of long-range cruise missile.
In an unusual move, South Korea responded to these weapons tests Wednesday by test-firing a submarine-launched ballistic missile, and announcing the development of a new supersonic cruise missile and a high-powered ballistic missile with significantly increased warhead weight.
The International Atomic Energy Agency at the end of August warned that Pyongyang has reactivated its nuclear reprocessing facilities.
This arms escalation comes as denuclearization dialogue has remained stalled since the failed Hanoi summit in 2019 and after Pyongyang cut communications with Seoul in protest of joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States last month. EFE