Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Korea

05/31/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2019 09:08

Ministry of National Defense classifies North Korea’s projectiles as new tactical guided weapons

On May 5th, the Minister of National Defense (MND) said that the ministry has analyzed the multiple short-range projectiles fired by North Korea on Saturday morning and considers them to be a new type of tactical guided weapon, along with 240-millimeter and 300-millimeter multiple rocket launcher systems.

'South Korea and US intelligence authorities are jointly carrying out a detailed analysis of type and data on the short-range projectiles fired by the North on Saturday. Our analysis shows the projectiles flew around 70 to 240 kilometers,' the MND said.

'We have identified an observation deck installed at a certain distance from where the projectiles were launched. Our analysis shows that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited the observation deck,' the MND added, stressing that the military supports ongoing diplomatic efforts while maintaining a firm South Korea-US combined defense posture.

A day earlier, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced that North Korea had fired multiple unidentified short-range projectiles into the East Sea on Saturday.

'The projectiles were fired from Hodo peninsula near the eastern coastal town of Wonsan between 9:06 a.m. and 9:27 a.m., and flew about 70 to 200 kilometers,' the JCS said, stressing that our military must maintain a posture of readiness while closely cooperating with the US amid strengthened surveillance and vigilance given the North's additional launches.

The government held a meeting presided over by Chung Eui-yong, director of the National Security Office, at Cheong Wa Dae immediately after the North's launch of projectiles. The meeting was attended by Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo, National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon, and deputy chief of National Security Office 1 Kim Yu-geun.

'The government is very concerned about the North's act, which violates the intent of the Sept. 19 inter-Korean military agreement. We expect that the North will join the efforts to swiftly resume the dialogue between the two Koreas,' Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said on Saturday that the foreign ministers of South Korea and the US had held phone talks and exchanged opinions regarding the North's launch of short-range projectiles. During the phone talks, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha and her US counterpart Mike Pompeo agreed to react prudently and continue communication, while pushing for an additional analysis of the North's launch.

Also, Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Office chief Lee Do-hoon and US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun held phone talks and agreed to keep in communication regarding this issue, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

By Byeong-No, Yun