Go to contents

Mortar shot falls 1km off-target during firing drill

Posted May. 19, 2020 07:49,   

Updated May. 19, 2020 07:49


It was later turned out that a 4.2 inch-mortar that the South Korean military test-fired during an exercise fell 1 kilometer off the intended destination. Following the dysfunctional K-6 machine gun left unattended at a guard post that received attacks from the North Korean army, the latest incident reveals yet another hole in the security posture of the South Korean military.

According to a military source, an army unit in Paju City of Gyeonggi Province conducted a firing drill last Thursday where a shot of mortar fell more than a kilometer away from the expected point of descending. The mortar was dropped in a mountain owned by the Korea Forest Service, and there was no damage of human lives or property. The military authorities instantly halted the drills and are currently investigating the commander and the participants of the firing on whether they complied with safety procedures. “The case is deemed critical as it could have resulted in a huge accident had it fallen on humans or hazardous facilities,” said a military official.

In November 2018, there was a test-firing of 60mm mortars in Paju, and two shots flew into a mountain 800 meters away from the intended impact area. It was found out that the destination of the misfiring was only 20 meters from the oil tank within the barracks, all but triggering a massive explosion.

The 4.2-inch shot in question is the biggest mortar currently operated by the South Korean army. Overwhelming their 60mm and 81mm counterparts in firepower and range of fatality, the 107mm mortars require a more thorough compliance of safety procedures in drills.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com