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N. Korea's latest missile launch carries ominious message
Updated: 2021-09-14 05:56:49 KST
North Korea has test-fired its long-range cruise missiles for the first time since they were first mentioned at the eighth ruling Workers' Party Congress in January.
Just because the missiles are not in violation of UN sanctions, one expert say that doesn't necessarily mean they're less lethal than the North's ballistic missiles or other strategic weapons.
Adding it's highly likely the new surface-to-surface missiles didn't fly the one,500 kilometers as a linear distance but in an eight-figure convoluted structure as reported by the Korean Central News Agency report on Monday.

"Cruise missiles are slower than ballistic missiles so they're in fact easier to intercept but the former also have features to evade defense systems such as flying at low altitudes or being launched in directions that are not easy to detect or predict. Also, sometimes their flying routes are designed to be more complicated so it's incorrect to automatically assume they're easy to intercept.

The expert also pointed to the fact that the word "strategic" was used by the KCNA to describe the missiles indicating that there's a possibility they're being developed to be able to equip nuclear warheads.

"The test-fire of long-range signifies that the North is trying to send a message to the U.S. and the international community that not only does it possess state-of-the-art ballistic missiles, but is also developing cruise missiles that could reach U.S. bases in Japan, Guam and Alaska."

He projected there's a high possibility the new "strategic" weapons could have been test-fired at sea near North Korea's east coast but not far as to invade the waters of Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone.
The recent launch has been measured as just enough to not provoke too much from the U.S. by launching intercontinental ballistic missiles which would surely cross the U.S.' "red-line" but at the same time be able to pressure the Biden administration for future negotiations.

"In addition of course to economic concerns and pandemic concerns which also may have induced a down-scaling of the parade I think they're also trying to show the Americans that they are reasonable and open to negotiations."

The latest military parade carried out by the North last Thursday did not display new strategic weapons.
Kim Yeonseung, Arirang News.
Reporter : jiyeonkim@arirang.co.kr