CM – New cruise missiles make North Korea deadly

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New cruise missiles make North Korea deadly

New Cruise Missile Gives North Korea Letha …

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When North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the Sea of ​​Japan on Wednesday, it not only violated several resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. The launches also follow reports from last weekend that the Kim Jong Un regime successfully tested a new long-range cruise missile. While North Korean ballistic missiles are nothing new, last weekend’s news seems to show that Pyongyang now has a cruise missile capability that allows long-range and hard-to-detect conventional or potentially nuclear attacks against South Korea, Japan or US military bases in the United States Region.

The development of the cruise missile system by the US-sanctioned Academy of National Defense Science in North Korea is just the latest worrying example of cruise missile proliferation around the world. This trend underscores the need to enforce and step up sanctions against North Korea and expedite the delivery of improved cruise missile defenses to the U.S. and Allied forces.

North Korea’s new system appears to be a land attack cruise missile, which means it should hit ground rather than sea targets. Based on images from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state media service of North Korea, the cruise missile was launched from a mobile container and may have used a solid fuel booster, which is not uncommon. The shape of the projectile with its rounded nose tip, the curved wings, the engine inlet, the three tail fins and the narrowed tail area is very similar to the land attack cruise missiles of other countries. According to the KCNA, the missile uses a « newly developed turbofan engine, » which likely means that it is moving at subsonic speeds. While North Korean state media also touted the missile’s accuracy and directability, it is not yet known what specific capabilities the missile could use to reach its target, such as radar targeting or electro-optical navigation.

When North Korea dropped two ballistic missiles on Wednesday Fired the Sea of ​​Japan, it not only violated several resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. The launches also follow reports from last weekend that the Kim Jong Un regime successfully tested a new long-range cruise missile. While North Korean ballistic missiles are nothing new, last weekend’s news seems to show that Pyongyang now has a cruise missile capability that allows long-range and hard-to-detect conventional or potentially nuclear attacks against South Korea, Japan or US military bases in the United States Region.

The development of the cruise missile system by the US-sanctioned Academy of National Defense Science in North Korea is just the latest worrying example of cruise missile proliferation around the world. This trend underscores the need to enforce and step up sanctions against North Korea and expedite the delivery of improved cruise missile defenses to the U.S. and Allied forces.

North Korea’s new system appears to be a land attack cruise missile, which means it should hit ground rather than sea targets. Based on images from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state media service of North Korea, the cruise missile was launched from a mobile container and may have used a solid fuel booster, which is not uncommon. The shape of the projectile with its rounded nose tip, the curved wings, the engine inlet, the three tail fins and the narrowed tail area is very similar to the land attack cruise missiles of other countries. According to the KCNA, the missile uses a « newly developed turbofan engine, » which likely means that it is moving at subsonic speeds. While North Korean state media also touted the missile’s accuracy and steering capabilities, it is not yet known what specific capabilities the missile could use to reach its target, such as radar targeting or electro-optical navigation.

The new missile apparently flew in 126 minutes a distance of 930 miles. This range would allow Pyongyang to potentially attack any US base in South Korea and Japan. It would also mean the missile is the longest-range cruise missile in the North Korean arsenal.

Kim also uses an old script to regularly perform provocative missile launches to attract international attention.

« This activity underscores [North Korea’s] continued focus on the development of its military program and the threats its neighbors and the international community pose, « the US said Indo-Pacific Command in response to cruise missile test. The US commitment to defending South Korea and Japan, the statement said, « remains firm. »

To underscore this threat to the United States and its allies, North Korean media called the cruise missile « a strategic weapon » – one Phrase implying that it could be used to fire a nuclear warhead. This is not an empty claim, given that North Korea estimates that US intelligence has dozens of nuclear warheads they traversed terrain, making it more difficult for the radar to detect than other missiles. While North Korea’s cruise missiles fly slower than ballistic missiles, land attack cruise missiles can travel on an unpredictable trajectory, making detection efforts difficult. In fact, the North Korean cruise missile reportedly flew in a figure-of-eight pattern.

In addition, land attack missiles require less ground support to launch and can hit targets from any direction. This is a headache for some existing missile defense radar systems that do not provide 360-degree radar coverage.

The new land attack cruise missiles therefore offer Pyongyang a valuable and deadly new capability by expanding its arsenal at multiple short-range, medium-range, Diversify medium-range and even ICBMs. All of this can be used by the Kim regime to threaten and coerce its opponents.

Existing Security Council resolutions focus on ballistic missiles as a carrier for a North Korean nuclear weapon. As early as 2006, the Security Council decided that Pyongyang should “suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program” and “completely, verifiably and irreversibly abandon all other existing weapons of mass destruction and the ballistic missile program”. Not only did that not happen, North Korea is now taking advantage of the lack of explicit reference to cruise missiles in these resolutions to increase its long-range attack capabilities.

Kim also uses an old script to regularly perform provocative missile launches to attract international attention, To enforce sanctions and economic concessions in exchange for no real progress in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. The United States and its allies and partners should not fall victim to Kim’s latest move.

However, assumptions about Kim’s motives should not hide the fact that this cruise missile capability significantly increases the threat to the United States and allied interests in the region.

Accordingly, the Biden administration should pass new sanctions focused on North Korea’s cruise missiles while spearheading multilateral Security Council efforts to do the same. While this move is unlikely to deter Pyongyang’s advancement of cruise missiles, it will at least increase the cost of Kim.

More importantly, Pyongyang’s apparent advances in deploying a long-range nuclear cruise missile serve as another wake-up call for the U.S. Department of Defense should. Forward-positioned US bases, including those in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East, remain unacceptably vulnerable to cruise missile threats.

A 2020 report from the US National Air and Space Intelligence Center found that “[t] he Cruise missile threat to US forces in terms of the number of countries with land-attack cruise missiles, the total number of LACMs, and the number of LACMs with enhanced capabilities. ”

North Korea’s growing interest in cruise missiles is in In line with the efforts of its partner Iran to use increasingly powerful cruise missiles. When Iran attacked Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities, it did so using land attack cruise missiles and drones. A 2019 report by the US Defense Intelligence Service on Iran’s military capabilities found cruise missiles « a unique threat profile » compared to ballistic missiles.

The Pentagon shouldn’t be surprised if great power opponents or rogue states are in Use future cruise missiles against forward-based US forces. Because of this, the Department of Defense needs to accelerate and prioritize its efforts to provide next-generation indirect fire protection capability. The new air and missile defense system, which the US Army is developing together with industry, will close a dangerous gap in US capabilities and at least initially focus on defending against unmanned aircraft and cruise missiles.

In the meantime, and can The US Army should deploy the two interim iron dome batteries acquired by Israel as soon as possible to better combat the cruise missile threats to the US armed forces.

These and other steps can help North Korea and convince other opponents that military force against the United States and its allies will not successfully achieve their political goals.

Bradley Bowman is Senior Director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former advisor to members of the Senate Armed Forces and External Relations committees. Twitter: @Brad_L_Bowman

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