N. Korea discounts S. Korea’s new SLBM as ‘rudimentary, toddling-stage’ weapon

21-Sep-2021 Intellasia | Yonhap | 5:02 AM Print This Post

North Korea on Monday questioned whether South Korea’s newly unveiled submarine-launched ballistic missile is a real SLBM, claiming even if it is, it would be nothing more than a “rudimentary, toddling-stage” weapon that cannot serve as an effective means of attack.

The chief of the North’s defense science agency made the claim in an article carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), days after South Korea unveiled its first homegrown SLBM by announcing the successful test-launch from the 3,000-tonne-class Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine.

“According to the released photos, it had the typical structure and form of a surface-to-surface tactical ballistic missile… and it looks like a somewhat clumsy weapon, which is far from a sea-based one,” agency chief Jang Chang-ha said, claiming the pictures could have been photoshopped.

Alleging South Korea seemed to have failed to complete key underwater ejection technologies, Jang noted the missile “cannot be an effective means of attack during wars, and it is not in the stage of being considered as a threatening weapon with strategic and tactical value.”

Even if it is an SLBM, Jang said it would be “nothing more than a rudimentary, toddling-stage” weapon.

He also claimed the new asset imitates India’s K-15 missile, and South Korea is in the early stage of its development, adding, “We’ve also gone through such (development) stages.”

Sources in Seoul said several more rounds of tests will be conducted to ensure its reliability. After wrapping up development by early next year, the weapon will begin mass production in the first half of 2022 for operational deployment starting in the second half of next year.

The SLBM, believed to be a variant of the country’s Hyunmoo-2B ballistic missile, has a maximum flight range of 800 kilometers. During the underwater test last week, the missile reportedly flew around 400 kilometers before striking a target.

“(South Korea) appeared to have dispelled growing security concerns over our missiles development and to have wanted to boast it became a nation with advanced defense technologies,” the North Korean official said.

The North then said it is closely watching South Korea’s intention behind the development, stressing such an effort “heralds military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, raises our awareness and lets us clearly know what we need to do.”



Category: Korea

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