중앙데일리

Minister says North’s test of a missile was a failure

Mar 08,2003
The recent launch of a North Korean missile in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) was probably a failed test of a new cruise missile, the defense minister told the National Assembly yesterday.
Cho Young-kil told lawmakers that the missile the North fired last month traveled 110 kilometers (68 miles) before falling into the sea. “Considering that the range was longer than that of missiles that North Korea has been known to possess, we concluded that the launch was a test of a newly developed cruise missile,” Mr. Cho said. “That new missile should probably have had a range of 160 kilometers.”
North Korea normally conducts test-firings between March and November, Mr. Cho noted. “We believe that the test was done earlier because of the current state of affairs on the peninsula,” the minister said. Pyeongyang began clearing the waters around the test site on Feb. 18, he said.
Mr. Cho also told the Assembly that the interception of a U.S. spy plane on Sunday by North Korean fighter jets was a carefully calculated action. “Their most advanced fighters were deployed secretly. Auxiliary fuel tanks were installed and fire-support radar was turned on,” Mr. Cho explained.
“North Korea’s actions were a complaint about reinforced U.S. surveillance and to test the U.S. reaction,” Mr. Cho said. “Pyeongyang’s move is probably meant to induce direct negotiations with Washington and to solidify North Korean opinion by heightening its hostility against the United States.”


by Lee Chul-hee


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