November 04, 2014 09:41
The missiles North Korea test-fired into the East Sea this year ascended to an altitude of 130 to 150 km, and some were fired to a higher altitude to reduce their range, according to data.
Saenuri Party lawmaker Yoo Seung-min revealed military data on the range, altitude, maximum speed and flight time of the 13 ballistic missiles the North test-fired from February to July.
They show that a Rodong missile fired from Sukchon, South Pyongan Province on March 26 ascended to an altitude of 150 km and flew a distance of 650 km in seven minutes and 30 seconds at a top speed of Mach 8.
That means it could strike any target in South Korea within seven minutes.
Most of the Scud missiles the North fired flew 500 km at an altitude of 130 km. But a Scud fired from Wonsan, Kangwon Province on Feb. 27 flew a shorter distance of 250 km at a higher altitude of 150 km.
Yoo said South Korea currently lacks the means to intercept incoming Scud or Rodong missiles, but the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is designed to intercept missiles at an altitude of 40-150 km.
"We should deploy at least three THAAD batteries since the PAC-3 missiles the government is going to purchase can only intercept missiles at a low altitude," he added.
Defense Minister Han Min-koo agreed with Yoo's assessment of the PAC-3 missiles but denied there are plans to deploy THAAD batteries.
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