July 17, 2020 13:10
North Korea has improved its intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles over the past two years, the U.S. Congressional Research Service warns.
The CRS in a report Tuesday warned that the North's development of SLBMs aims to "degrade the effectiveness of missile defenses deployed in the region: Patriot, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), and Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)."
This is the first time the U.S. has admitted that the THAAD anti-missile battery here could be incapacitated by missiles from the North, suggesting the need to beef up its defenses.
"North Korea's progress with submarine-launched ballistic missiles suggests an effort to counter land-based THAAD missile defenses by launching attacks from positions at sea outside the THAAD's radar field of view," the report adds.
The North succeeded in the test of a new SLBM last October. It seems to have a range of more than 2,000 km and will likely be carried by a new 3,000 ton-class sub, according to military observers here.
Japan believes that the North already has the capability to attack it with nuclear weapons and missiles.
In a white paper published on Tuesday, the Japanese Defense Ministry warns that the North seems to have already "miniaturized nuclear weapons to fit ballistic missile warheads" and to possess the "capability to attack Japan."
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