Missile Experts Raise Suspicion on N. Korea Rocket Launcher
Missile experts assess that the so-called super-large multiple rocket launcher North Korea said it tested on Thursday does not appear to be perfected and could be intercepted by a missile defense system.
This is according to Voice of America(VOA) on Saturday, which carried a report citing experts’ suspicion of the North's statement that two shots were fired within a three minute interval.
VOA said Markus Schiller, founder of the consulting firm ST Analytics, said that the "time interval to three minutes sounds like a lot." He questioned what the big problem was because the targets can be programmed in between even before the first missile is launched.
Bruce Bennett, a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation, said that time should theoretically be a matter of 20 or 30 seconds, but that perhaps the North Koreans were not confident enough in such an interval and thus extended it to three minutes.
He said in the report that alternatively, the North Koreans may have pushed the button after 20 or 30 seconds and the missile didn't go and they had to “massage it” in some way to make it go after three minutes.
Bennett said the travel distance, altitude and speed appear to be characteristics of a regular ballistic missile and could be sufficiently intercepted using the Patriot missile defense system deployed in South Korea.
The report said Bennett explained that considering North Korea's recent missile development, the regime is going to have a good shot at destroying missile defense radars unless an anti-drone defense is employed.
Pyongyang said Friday that it successfully fired the super-large multiple rocket launcher to test the stability of the weapon’s continuous fire system and verify its combat and field performance.