ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 4th, 2013 at 6:59 am

Korean Media Reports That North Korea Preparing Test of Musudan Missile

» by in: North Korea

It appears that North Korea is moving closer to upping the current tensions without crossing the line that they know would lead to retaliation from the ROK and the US:

Musudan missile via Wikipedia.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said Thursday that North Korea has moved an intermediate-range missile to its east coast for an imminent test firing or military drill, but it does not seem to be aimed at striking the U.S. mainland.

In a parliamentary defense committee meeting, Kim refuted media reports that Pyongyang has moved a KN-08 missile, which is believed to have a range of 10,000 kilometers, into position to strike the U.S.

Without specifying the type of missile, Kim said it is believed to be able to reach a “considerable distance,” though it is not able to strike the U.S. mainland.

“The missile does not seem to be aimed at the U.S. mainland,” Kim told lawmakers. “It could be aimed at test firing or military drills.”

Although there is slim chance that Pyongyang’s harsh rhetoric could lead to a full-scale war, Kim said the North could launch other forms of provocations, including border clashes and cyber attacks.

“Our military has upgraded several systems and carried out drills under upgraded military readiness status,” Kim said.
According to intelligence analysis by South Korean and U.S. forces, it is believed to be a Musudan missile, which is estimated to have a range of 3,000-4,000 km, putting the U.S. base in Guam within striking.

In positioning the missile on its east coast, the North has prompted the U.S. to move its advanced missile defense system to its base on the Pacific Ocean island of Guam along with radar systems.

It has yet to be confirmed whether the missile is carrying a warhead, but sources forecast that Pyongyang is likely to fire it around the middle of April, when North Koreans celebrate the birthday of the North’s founder, Kim Il-sung. [Yonhap]

You can read the rest at the link, but the Musudan has never been tested before and its believed range would make Guam vulnerable to the missile assuming the North Koreans have the guidance systems on it to actually hit something as small as Guam with any precision.  However, they are not going to fire the Musudan at Guam or anyone else.  However, if they are test firing this missile from their east coast that means that to demonstrate the range of the missile they would have to fire it over Japan like they did with their Taepodong-1 missile in 1998.  Would firing a missile over Japan trigger a military response?  I doubt it and the North Koreans may be betting it will not draw a response either.  I guess we will have to see what happens later this month.

You can learn more about the Musudan over at Missile Threat as well as the other untested North Korean missile the KN-08 which is their road mobile ICBM over at 38 North which has a real good posting about it.

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  • Smokes
    6:28 am on April 4th, 2013 1

    Ugh aren’t you the Negative Nancy this week? How about a Photo of the Day with some pretty girls or a lighter story we can laugh or argue about, the Drop’s been pretty depressing lately. :cry:

  • Smokes
    6:32 am on April 4th, 2013 2

    North Korea’s Twitter, flickr accounts hacked amid rising tension

    See? Relevant and funny. Probably not for the guy who’s job it is in the DPRK to keep that page updated; his family’s well on their way to the salt mines for this. :shock:

  • JoeC
    12:33 pm on April 4th, 2013 3

    International conventions require that when a country plans to fire something like this in international territory they are supposed to send out a notice of their intentions that results in Notice To Airman (NOTAM) and Notice to Mariners bulletins, warning vessels in the path of a hazard in the airspace and drop zone.

    Not saying that North Korea cares about such conventions but they did seem to have abided by it with their satellite rocket launches.

    Even if they did properly notify of their intentions, guidance systems can fail and missiles can go off in erratic directions. However, the Pacific is quite large and there is very little chance it could hit something unintentionally.

    But the chance of that happening is not nearly as small as two unrelated pieces of space rock coming within striking distance of the earth at the same time. :roll:

    Missile roulette anyone? :shock:

  • Onezime
    3:43 pm on April 5th, 2013 4

    So, anyone care to wager how long before this one blows up after takeoff?


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