November 10, 2022 12:33
The missile North Korea fired into South Korean waters on Nov. 2 was an obsolete SA-5 surface-to-air missile Pyongyang bought from the old Soviet Union in the 1980s.
The Defense Ministry here came to the conclusion on Wednesday after examining debris salvaged from the sea floor south of the Northern Limit Line, the de-factor maritime border.
"The debris of the missile the North fired into the East Sea on Nov. 2 turned out to be that of an SA-5 missile," the ministry said. A search turned up a 3 m-long and 2 m-wide piece of fuselage on the ocean floor off Sokcho, Gangwon Province on Nov. 6. Cyrillic characters were written on the fuselage that still had four missile wings, a liquid fuel canister and part of the engine and its nozzle.
"The Russian for 'outlet for oxidizing agent' and 'serial number' are written on the missile fuselage," a ministry official said. "It was impossible to see if Russian words were also written on inside components because they had been destroyed. There was no hangeul (Korean characters) writing anywhere on the fuselage."
"The SA-5 has dual purposes," a military officer said. "Recently, Russia has used similar surface-to-air missiles for surface-to-surface strikes in the Ukrainian War."
The SA-5 (S-200) is a surface-to-air missile the old Soviet Union first deployed in 1964. North Korea bought many of them in the 1980s and extended their range. It has deployed them mostly in the Pyongyang area to defend it against South Korean and U.S. warplanes.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com