August 12, 2019 11:33
North Korea's missile test on Saturday suggests the North is capable of raining down hundreds of cluster munitions that can decimate an area the size of three to four football fields.
Experts said the short-range missiles fired Saturday are similar to the U.S.' Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) of short-range ballistic missiles which can be fitted to deliver hundreds of cluster munitions or bunker-busting warheads that can penetrate deep into the ground. They use solid fuel and can be prepped for launch quickly, making them nearly impossible to detect early.
North Korean state media said the missiles have "superior characteristics" compared to existing weapons.
This has raised concerns that they complete the development of a series of new missiles along with the Russian-style Iskander and a 400-mm multiple launch rocket system.
They could essentially neutralize South Korea's "kill chain" pre-emptive strike system and Korean Air and Missile Defense systems.
So far the North had relied on aging Scud missiles and 240 mm multiple-launch rocket systems. A military source said, "North Korea is likely to continue testing various new weapons systems it has been developing secretly over the past year."
Meanwhile, the U.S. and South Korea started the second part of their joint military exercises on Sunday focusing on testing South Korea's ability to assume wartime operational control of its troops.
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