North Korea announced that it had fired a super-large rocket artillery system, capable of destroying an airport, in response to a US-South Korean air drill.
“The 600mm multiple launch rocket system used in the drill is a tactical nuclear attack method, capable of turning the enemy’s military airport into ashes,” the Korean Central News Agency said. Tien KCNA on February 20 said, referring to two projectiles that were launched into the sea east of the country this morning.
KCNA said two projectiles were fired at the target at a distance of 337-395 km, highlighting the move in response to the US and South Korean air drills a day earlier. “The North Korean army has shown its full combat readiness to deter and deal with the enemy’s drills,” KCNA said.
The South Korean military apparently mistook these two rockets for “short-range ballistic missiles”. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the two projectiles flew a distance of 340-390 km before landing in the eastern sea.
North Korea’s military on February 18 conducted an unscheduled exercise at the direction of leader Kim Jong-un and launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-15 into this sea. The missile reached an altitude of more than 5,700 km, flew nearly 1,000 km before “hit the specified target”.
In response, the US and South Korean air forces on February 19 sent B-1 strategic bombers, F-35A, F-15K, and F-16 fighters to participate in drills in the Korean aviation identification zone.
North Korea’s ICBM and super-large rocket launcher tests come as the United States and South Korea plan to hold field drills to respond to Pyongyang’s nuclear threat this week and this week. Freedom Shield exercise in March.
South Korea, on February 16 released a defense white paper for 2022, calling North Korea an “enemy” for the first time in six years, signaling a tougher stance against Pyongyang.
North Korea ‘s super-large rocket artillery has a diameter of 600 mm and a range of about 400 km, enough to threaten most US and South Korean bases. This is one of five new weapons tested by North Korea in 2019, in addition to a new-generation guided rocket complex, a short-range ballistic missile similar to the Russian Iskander series, a tactical ballistic missile similar to the ATACMS model of the country. US Army and Pukguksong-3 submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
“Long-range rockets that shoot intensively in a short time will cause great difficulties for the US and South Korea air defense networks, because they are difficult to detect and intercept. It can do the task of concentrating fire, in which the projectiles launched from one or more batteries in scattered locations hit the target area at the same time,” said Ryu Sung-yeop, an expert at the Korea Institute of Military Studies.