N. Korea claims 'successful launch of multi-warhead missile'

By Park Sae-jin Posted : June 27, 2024, 14:00 Updated : June 27, 2024, 14:05
SEOUL, June 27 (AJU PRESS) - North Korea Thursday claimed that it had "successfully" conducted a missile test, contradicting South Korea's assessment that the ballistic missile, fired near Pyongyang the previous day, appeared to have "failed."

According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the launch, aimed at testing the individual operation of mobile warheads including a decoy, was a "success." It hailed the achievement as a significant milestone in the isolated country's rapid development of missile technologies.

The missile, known as a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV), is capable of carrying multiple warheads. When it reaches a certain altitude after launch, its warheads separate from the missile and travel towards their respective targets.

MIRVs pose a grave threat to enemies, as the separated warheads are extremely hard to detect and track, making it difficult to intercept them. Conventional missiles with a single warhead are relatively easier to intercept with an anti-missile defense system.

Military boffins speculated that the analysis by the Joint Chiefs of Staff here may have been based on the missile's trajectory, possibly overlooking the fact that it was an MIRV.

According to KCNA, the mobile warheads were carried by the first-stage engine of an intermediate-range solid-fuel ballistic missile with a range of up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) and were accurately guided to three designated targets. It added that a decoy was also separated and detected by anti-air radar.

Pyongyang claimed that the successful test launch of the MIRV is "of great significance in bolstering the [country's] missile capabilities and developing missile technologies."
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