TOKYO, June 30 (RIA Novosti) – North Korea is deploying improved artilleries with a longer range at its frontline military units, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday, referring to a government source.
North Korea's military is replacing 107-millimeter-caliber multiple rocket launchers deployed on the border with South Korea with the improved 240-mm-caliber multiple rocket launchers, the source said, adding the improved artilleries would pose a greater threat to South Korea's capital areas.
North Korea is believed to have deployed multiple rocket launchers with 107mm, 122mm and 240mm calibers on the border.
The 240-mm-caliber launcher has a range of 60 kilometers (37 miles) but the improved version increases the range to 70 km (43 miles), the source told Yonhap.
"We are detecting signs that the North is deploying the improved 240-mm-caliber multiple rocket launchers, and the signs are showing up at some western and eastern front-line military units," Yonhap quoted the source as saying.
The new artilleries pose increased military threats to areas south of South Korea's capital region, which is near the border with the North, the source said.
A US Department of Defense report submitted to Congress last month showed that the North has a total of 5,100 multiple rocket launchers, according to Yonhap.
The two Koreas technically remain "at war" since no peace treaty was signed when the Korean War ended in 1953.
Tensions mounted on the Korean Peninsula earlier this year after North Korea conducted new nuclear and missile tests. Pyongyang threatened Seoul and the United States with war and closed off the joint industrial zone in Kaesong following a new round of international sanctions, but later voiced willingness to negotiate.