Apart from the tests of two short-range ballistic missiles, Pyongyang had been rather discreet in recent months since the election of Joe Biden to the White House. Same the annual parade marking the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the country held a few days ago in the North Korean capital, put forward not new missiles and armaments as was the case last year, but civil society, and in particular the teams engaged in the fight against Covid19. It must be said that Kim Jung Un, who has ruled the country with an iron fist since the death of his father, has a lot to do to try to revive the country's economy, and master the major failures of the system, especially in the food field.
However, the North Korean authorities announced yesterday the successful firing of a new cruise missile held on September 11 and 12. The missile, which seems inspired by the American Tomahawk, would in fact have traveled 1.500 km in 2 hours and 6 minutes, following a trajectory in eight over the land and territorial waters of the country, before hitting its target. Due to this extension, and the announced capacity to be able to carry a nuclear warhead, this new missile, implemented according to the photo transmitted to the press agencies by a 4-axle truck carrying 5 launch tubes, can strike, in addition to South Korea. South, Japanese territory, including Tokyo or the island of Okinawa, which is home to a large part of the American forces deployed in the Japanese archipelago, as well as Chinese and Russian territory.
The arrival of this new missile, alongside the semi-ballistic trajectory ballistic missiles which have already demonstrated their effectiveness, will very likely increase the degree of tension in this theater, which is already the subject of fierce competition between China and the United States. United States, as well as its allies. Moreover, it contradicts, to some extent, Seoul's strategy of eliminating potential ballistic missile launch sites in North Korea before Pyongyang can use them in the event of an impending conflict. However, cruise missiles are much more flexible to use and more mobile than ballistic missiles, making their preventive location much more hazardous. In addition, due to their launch and flight profile, they are much more difficult to detect by surveillance radar systems, taking maximum advantage of terrain masking to compensate for their low relative speed.
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