North Korea develops new rocket launcher controller: State media

Date: unknown

Location: www.channelnewsasia.com

SEOUL: North Korea has successfully developed a new ballistic control system for a multiple rocket launcher along with controllable shells, state media KCNA reported on Monday (Feb 12).

The Academy of Defence Science, which oversees the country's missile development, conducted a "ballistic control" test firing of 240-mm calibre controllable multiple rocket launcher shells on Sunday, KCNA said.

KCNA said the strategic value of the 240 mm-calibre multiple rocket launcher will be "reevaluated" its role in battlefields will also increase due to what it called "rapid technical improvement".

The development of the shell and the ballistic control system will make a "qualitative change" in its army's multiple rocket launcher force, the report added.

Sunday's launch comes amid multiple missile tests by North Korea in recent weeks and growing ties between Pyongyang and Moscow - moves that have been criticised by the US and its allies as escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has accused the US and South Korea of escalating tensions with their large-scale military drills.

Nuclear-armed North Korea this year declared South Korea as its "principal enemy", closing agencies dedicated to reunification and outreach, and threatening war over "even 0.001 millimetres" of territorial infringement.

Leader Kim Jong Un repeated on Friday that Pyongyang would not hesitate to "put an end" to South Korea if attacked, calling Seoul the North's "most dangerous and first enemy state and invariable arch-enemy".

In January, North Korea fired an artillery barrage near two South Korean border islands, prompting a live-fire drill by the South and evacuation orders for residents.

Kim has also ramped up weapons testing, including this year's launch of a flurry of cruise missiles, which analysts said the North could be supplying to Russia for use in Ukraine.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has vowed a strong response if Pyongyang attacks, calling on his military to "act first, report later" if provoked.

The hawkish Yoon has bolstered defence cooperation with the United States and Japan since coming to office in 2022, including expanding joint drills, to counter Pyongyang's growing threats.