South Korea launched several “precision strike” missiles near its border with North Korea just six minutes after a probable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was launched from near Pyongysong early on Wednesday morning.
The South Korean launch, involving a Hyunmoo-2 type ballistic missile, the Haesong-II missile, and the SPICE-2000 missile, involved personnel from the army, navy, and air-force, South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff said on Wednesday.
“The South’s armed forces also conducted a “precision strike” missile launch near the Northern Limit Line in the East Sea starting at around 3:23 a.m. in response to the North’s provocation,” the JCS said early on Wednesday.
“Three missiles simultaneously hit the target which simulated the origin of the enemy’s provocation,” JCS added.
The rapid missile test response is notable because it suggests South Korea’s military had intelligence of the forthcoming North Korean launch – and that its missile crews were well prepared.
“Six minutes is enough to show that they can probably kill the ground crew,” said Scott Lafoy, an NK Pro analyst specializing in missile technology, describing the likely messaging Seoul intended to send through the rapid response.
“But unless they are launching about five to 10 minutes before the DPRK does, they still aren’t showing that they can stop a missile launch,” he continued. “(But the rapid response) does imply that the South and the U.S. were either ready for it or are in a state that they are ready all the time.”
Seoul’s YTN News broadcast images of the test
Combined, the rapid response would be intended to inform North Korea that Seoul is well prepared for responding to its missile tests in ways that could impact the survivability of those surrounding the event.
North Korea’s early morning Wednesday ICBM test notably came following reports by Japanese news agency Kyodo on Tuesday quoting government sources claiming a missile test was imminent.
Hong Hee-bum, a South Korean military expert, previously wrote in NK News that Hyunmoo-2 missile launches within 12 to 15 hours of a North Korean test represented “an impressive record during peacetime.”
Hong said that South Korean missiles, which are transported in canisters that insulate them from environmental pollution, have better accuracy and technical performance than those used by the North.
Featured Image: korea.net
Edited by Oliver Hotham
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