North Korea carried out a missile launch, South Korea’s military said Sunday. The launch used a multiple rocket launch system. It is the latest in a series of missile tests by North Korea.
The South Korean military’s statement did not detail the firing range, direction, or the exact type of weapon fired but said it closely monitored the situation.
The Yonhap news agency reported that at about 7:20 a.m. on Sunday, North Korea fired four multiple rocket launchers into the western waters from South Pyongan Province.
The report said that South Korea’s National Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the launch.
This year, North Korea has carried out 11 launches to systematically implement the strategic weapons list drawn up by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last year.
Last week, North Korea failed a missile test that reportedly exploded in mid-air, spattering debris near Pyongyang. North Korea has remained silent about the failed launch. However, the launch seemed particularly reckless because it took place at North Korea’s main international airport.
U.S. officials have warned that North Korea could soon launch a new ICBM launch, possibly in the name of a satellite launch.
The multiple rocket launch system test may be less provocative than a long-range missile launch, but analysts have warned that the weapon still poses a significant threat to South Korea.
In 2019, North Korea repeatedly tested a new super-caliber multiple rocket launcher, which U.S. officials called the KN-25.
According to the CSIS Missile Defense Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, the KN-25, which fires rockets from a four-barrel mobile launcher, “blurs the distinction between a multiple-barreled rocket system (MLR) and a short-range ballistic missile.”
Many analysts consider the KN-25 a “ballistic missile” system because it fires such a massive weapon.
Defense analysts say that by repeatedly testing the KN-25, North Korea has reduced the time it takes to continuously fire rockets from the system, making it more likely to survive a conflict.