In the midst of the U.S.-South Korean Ulchi-Freedom Guardian joint military exercises, North Korea successfully launched a missile from a submarine stationed on the coast of the East Sea. The Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) reached 500 km in distance (fired at a high angle) and landed in the sea near Japan. If fired at an ordinary trajectory, the missile is reportedly capable of reaching 1,000 km in distance.
Contrary to previous news coverage of North Korea’s missile tests, the U.S. media appears to be taking the latest missile test more seriously as experts have publicly assessed the SLBM launch as largely successful and a demonstration of “rapid progress.”
The latest missile test has also diminished the case for the U.S.’ deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea. Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis has stated that the submarine launcher is capable of being positioned outside the 120 degree detection range of the THAAD system and fire a long-range missile at a speed faster than that of the THAAD interceptor missile. This means North Korea’s increasing missile capacity could render the THAAD system ineffective against missiles aimed at U.S. bases in the Asia Pacific region.
Featured News & Articles
By attributing “Gangster-like” invective to North Korea, the NY Times refreshes the “irrational, out-of-control, over- the- top, can’t-be-negotiated-with” framing that has prevented, sabotaged and derailed negotiation in the past.read more
Having declared the completion of an effective nuclear deterrent to defend itself from U.S.’ military threats, North Korea now appears ready to shift its scientific talent and resources to another key aspect of its fight against U.S. aggression: building an economically robust and self-reliant nation to defy the labyrinth of U.S.-led sanctions.read more
Weekly News Roundup
The residents of Seongju and Gimcheon were caught off guard when the USFK and the South Korean Defense Ministry forced key parts of the THAAD missile system into the former Lotte Skyhill Golf Course in the early morning hours of April 26. The AN/TPY-2 radar is believed to have been transported into the deployment site.read more