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Recent N. Korean missiles were detected in advance: S. Korea's Defense Minister
Updated: 2021-09-14 17:05:25 KST

South Korea's Defense Minister Suh Wook has said the military assets of South Korea and the U.S. detected North Korea's latest test-fire of long-range cruise missiles before the North reported the launch.
His remarks came during a regular session of the National Assembly on Tuesday amid speculation that South Korea's military was not able to detect the missiles in advance and was not able to alert the public right away.
On Monday, the North reported its missiles had flown for some 126 minutes and successfully hit a target one,500 kilometers away during its test launches on Saturday and Sunday
Seoul's defense minister said South Korea is already capable of intercepting North Korea's cruise missiles via early detection and that the military continues to enhance its defense capabilities through close observation.
He didn't elaborate on when or how they were detected but said specific details regarding the recent launch are being analyzed by the alliance.
Regarding the North's cruise missile technology, Suh said the Defense Ministry has been aware of its development since the early 2000s and that North Korea is executing its accumulated tech knowledge in full swing.
Regarding the North's coronavirus situation in which the reclusive regime claims the country is virus-free the minister said there are signs that there are confirmed cases in North Korea.
Suh said the North has strengthened its quarantine measures and conducted COVID-19 tests of the participants ahead of the large-scale military parade held last Thursday to mark the 73rd anniversary of the North's founding.
He said the regime is trying to maximize the attention it gets from the international community by conducting the parade at night.
The aim of the recent military parade he said is to compliment the ten-year reign of the Kim Jong-un regime and to alter the stagnant atmosphere of the North which is experiencing difficulties due to international sanctions, the pandemic and natural disasters.
Regarding the slimmer North Korean leader, the minister said Kim Jong-un is not suffering from any serious health issues as he continues to carry on with his activities.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : jiyeonkim@arirang.co.kr