2 Americans detained in North Korea seek US help

N.K. develops rocket that can reach Pyeongtaek

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Published : 2012-02-22 20:07
Updated : 2012-02-22 20:07

North Korea has developed a multiple launch rocket system with a maximum range of 200 kilometers, which can reach U.S. bases slated to be moved to Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, from Yongsang, Seoul when they are fired near the Demilitarized Zone, a local daily reported Wednesday.

According to reports citing unnamed government officials, North Korea has recently developed the long-range MLRS using Chinese technology.

The new MLRS fires 300-millimeter rockets, and is fitted with the Russian satellite navigation system GLONASS. Until now Pyongyang’s military was known to possess only a 240-millimeter multiple launch rocket system with a maximum range of 90 kilometers.

“North Korea has recently completed developing the 300-millimeter MLRS, whose range is almost twice as long as the 240-millimeter. (North Korea) Appears to have developed the system using Chinese technology,” an anonymous government official was quoted as saying.

The new weapons system puts the Gyeryongdae military headquarters in South Chungcheong Province within Pyongyang’s striking range.

In addition, rockets fired from the 300-millimeter MLRS are capable of reaching Pyeongtaek, the Gyeonggi Province city that will be the site of the new U.S. military base.

South Korean authorities are also said to have obtained evidence that the new system has already been deployed.

According to the military, Pyongyang’s MLRS poses one of the greatest threats to South Korean forces, and it is believed that North Korea developed the 300-millimeter MLRS in order to further increase the threat.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)

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