October 11, 2019 10:23
South Korea's key warships assigned to detecting North Korea's missile launches have failed to detect and track them on five occasions this year.
According to Navy data obtained by Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Chong Jong-sup on Thursday, Aegis vessels failed to detect and track North Korea's ballistic missile launches on May 4 and 9, July 25, Aug. 2, and Sept. 10.
The North has launched new missiles or projectiles from multiple rocket launchers on a total of 11 occasions since May 4.
"No sailing orders were given to the Aegis vessels from the Joint Chiefs of Staff headquarters to monitor North Korea's missile activities on time," the Navy said.
"Even if sailing orders had been given, the missile activities were out of Aegis radar range in some cases" or "it was possible to detect and track only one out of every two missiles, because the combat readiness system update was often delayed on the Aegis ships."
But if all the requirements were met, Aegis ships never failed to detect and track North Korean missiles, according to Adm. Sim Seung-seob, the chief of naval operations. He promised to report to the National Assembly's Defense Committee after checking whether there were any other missile launches that the Aegis ships failed to detect.
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