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N. Korea likely to trigger IRBM threat capable of reaching Guam

N. Korea likely to trigger IRBM threat capable of reaching Guam

Posted January. 24, 2022 08:00,   

Updated January. 24, 2022 08:00


Intelligence agencies of South Korea and the U.S. are reportedly considering the possibility of North Korea firing Hwasong-12 type intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBM) which would fly over to Guam as its next threat plan.

Experts say that North Korea, which has indicated withdrawal of suspended moratorium on nuclear testing and ICBM in four years, may consider IRBM as mid-term strategies to bring more tension to the U.S. and the Korean peninsula ahead of ICBM or long-distance rockets to target the U.S. mainland.

According to a source from U.S. army stationed in Korea on Jan. 23, the intelligence agencies of South Korea and the U.S. are focusing on the movements of key North Korean bases stationed with Hwaseong-12 type IRBM, using reconnaissance satellites and planes to identify transporter erector launchers and nighttime movement.

The Hwasong-12 type IRBM was test fired three times in the presence of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in 2017. In the third test fire held at the Soonan Airport in Pyongyang in September, the missile flew around 3,700 kilometers over the sky of Hokkaido and landed in the waters of the Northern Pacific. The flight was demonstration of the missile’s capability to target Guam, the U.S. strategic location, in the event of emergency. Another source said that “North Korea is likely to mobilize Hwaseong-12 type missile within five years to gradually increase tensions and pressure the U.S., rather than choosing to directly target the U.S. homeland.“

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com