DPRK Says It's Test-Fired a New Surface-to-Air Missile With 'Major New Technology'
21:43 GMT 30.09.2021 (Updated: 22:25 GMT 30.09.2021)
© Sputnik / Alexey KudenkoRussian S-400 air defence system launches missile during drills
© Sputnik / Alexey Kudenko/
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) test-fired a new surface-to-air missile on Thursday, state media reported on Friday. It is the second new weapon the socialist state has announced this week, after earlier revealing a new hypersonic glide vehicle test.
"The Academy of Defense Science of the DPRK test-fired a newly-developed anti-air missile on September 30. The test fire was aimed at confirming the general combat function of the missile and practical ability of the launching pad, radar and combat commanding vehicle," Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report on Friday morning.
"The Academy of Defense Science announced that remarkable combat function of the latest anti-air missile was confirmed, which drastically increased the fast response, guiding accuracy and target hitting distance of the missile control system by introducing major new technology including the twin rudder controlling technique and double impulse flight mortar," KCNA said, adding that "the recent test-firing is of great practical significance in the prospective research and development of different kinds of anti-air missile system."
The DPRK has an extensive array of air defense systems designed to fend off bombardment by US and South Korean air forces in the event of a war. During the 1950-53 Korean War, US strategic bombers targeted every major city, killing up to 20% of the country's population, according to US Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, who was head of the Strategic Air Command during the war.
Among its most effective weapons is the KN-06, an indigenously developed air defense system broadly analogous to Russia's S-300P, including a phased array radar and missile guidance system, but with a range of up to 160 miles. However, the DPRK also has a number of older Soviet-era systems bought from the USSR, many of which have likely been upgraded.
Earlier this week, KCNA also revealed that what had been believed to be a test of a short-range missile was actually the inaugural flight of a new hypersonic glide vehicle. Development of a Mach 5 missile, which is capable of evading almost every known air defense and tracking system, is something only the US, China, and Russia have accomplished.
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly just moments after the hypersonic test, the DPRK's ambassador to the UN, Kim Sung, defended the country's right to self-defense and to test new weapons, given the hostile disposition of other nations.
"The possible outbreak of a new war on the Korean Peninsula is contained not because of the US' mercy on the DPRK," Kim said. "It is because our state is a growing reliable deterrent that can control the hostile forces in the attempts of a military invasion."
The 1950-53 war only ended in a ceasefire and the establishment of a demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas. The US has stationed 28,000 troops in South Korea and conducts regular military drills with the South, which rehearse strikes on the North. The Koreas came close to signing an end-of-war declaration amid a rapprochement in 2018, but talks fell apart after the US refused to lower economic sanctions without seeing proof the DPRK had irreversibly dismantled its nuclear weapons program.
DPRK leader Kim Jong Un said on Thursday he was willing to restore communication via the inter-Korean hotline in October. Days earlier, Kim Yo Jong, Deputy Department Director of the Publicity and Information Department of the Workers' Party of Korea and Kim's sister, said the North remains open to an inter-Korean summit, but only if mutual “respect” and “impartiality” are guaranteed and the South drops its double-standards.