Why is North Korea's cruise missile test a concern for other countries?

Posted on 17th Sep 2021 04:02 pm by rohit kumar

Earlier this week North Korea announced that it had successfully tested a long-range cruise missile that could hit Japan.


Cruise missiles are different from ballistic missiles, which can be launched and diverted from different directions during the attack.


It shows how diverse and complex North Korea is building towards its desire to acquire a nuclear weapon.


It is also clear that the natural calamity of the epidemic and the impact of internal economic troubles kept North Korea in the direction of obtaining nuclear weapons.


But the recent test has raised many questions such as - why is North Korea doing this now, how important is it and what does it tell us about its priorities?


North Korea hasn't changed?


Since the year 2019, North Korea has been working towards improving its nuclear capabilities both qualitatively and numerically.


Following the failure of a summit with former US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam in February 2019, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reiterated his resolve to continue investing in North Korea's nuclear weapons so that the country's direction of national defense strategy To become self-reliant.


The question now arises as that why North Korea, which is facing a shortage of food and economic crisis, has chosen such a time to do all this?


There can be many answers to this question.


If seen, this test confirms the purpose of Kim Jong Un that he wants to achieve self-reliance in the direction of boosting national security and morale.


In practical terms, new capabilities like cruise missiles show North Korea's insistence on new capabilities so that it can counter the complex plans of its adversaries.


Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles move towards their target at a lower altitude and slower speed.


North Korea recently test-fired cruise missiles with a range of about 1,500 kilometers that reached their targets in more than two hours.


In comparison, ballistic missiles take minutes to cover the same distance, but North Korea's interest in cruise missiles has been fueled by adversaries' ability to detect and defend against North Korea's missile launches.


Despite the ongoing difficulties in the country, do these tests show that Kim Jong Un is making his resolve to increase his nuclear capabilities.


The answer is understandable that unless we see a fundamental shift in North Korea's priorities or its successful diplomatic approach to the US, it can only be expected that North Korea is expanding its nuclear capabilities. and is engaged in making them better.


But is it also worth noting what time North Korea has chosen to expose this weapon system?


Despite the rhetoric against opponents, the testing of this weapon system will hardly have anything to do with the policies of the Biden administration or the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks because these tests took place during this time.


nuclear weapons capability

The biggest concern of South Korea, Japan, and the international community is the statement of North Korean state media in which these new weapons are described as 'strategic weapons'.


It is also believed that North Korea intends to add nuclear weapons to this weapon as well because so far North Korea's cruise missile system has not been capable of carrying nuclear weapons.


However, the appearance of this cruise missile was not very surprising as Kim Jong Un announced in January this year that work on making such systems is going on.


What else do we know about these missiles?

Cruise missiles work differently from ballistic missiles. North Korea also tested ballistic missiles two days later.


UN Security Council sanctions bar North Korea from testing ballistic missiles, but the ban on testing cruise missiles do not apply to it.


This is because it is believed that ballistic missiles are more dangerous as they can carry more explosives and can travel greater distances and faster.


Ballistic missiles can change direction very rarely while reaching their target in the final stage and sometimes their explosives also fall on the ground. Conversely, cruise missiles can turn several times while approaching the target and can attack from anywhere by changing direction.


At the same time, due to low altitude, radar systems on the ground can catch them only in the final stage while reaching the target, due to their flying at low altitude, it is also very difficult to drop them successfully.


Cruise missiles are not fundamentally new technology for North Korea. Years ago, he has tested an improved version of the Soviet Union's anti-ship cruise missiles.


The missile, which has been recently tested, has a better range than the older cruise missiles because their shape has been improved.


But these cruise missiles are only a part of North Korea's larger efforts to build weapons.

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