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Report: Radar in South Korea network could not track missiles

By Elizabeth Shim
Report: Radar in South Korea network could not track missiles
North Korea's latest missiles appear to be similar to the Russian Iskander, a short-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile. File Photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo

May 13 (UPI) -- North Korean missiles tested last week may have been only partly detected in South Korea despite an extensive network of early warning radar in the country, according to a local press report.

EDaily reported Monday the Peace Eye airborne early warning and control aircraft, and early warning systems on Aegis ships, may have not detected the missiles after launch. The South Korean military said the reason why the missiles were not tracked on Aegis destroyers is "currently under analysis," according to the report.

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The missiles were tracked largely through the South Korean air force's early warning radar, most likely Green Pine missile-defense radar.

The report comes days after South Korea's joint chiefs of staff may have said there was movement detected of "vehicles" going back and forth at the site launch ahead of the most recent test of North Korean missiles.

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South Korean lawmaker Lee Eun-jae had said on Friday there appeared to be a movements of on-the-ground vehicles detected about a minute before launch.

But by Monday South Korean military authorities were refuting Lee's comments, and said it had detected North Korean movements on the ground one minute after, not before, the tests.

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South Korea's Peace Eye fleet began to be deployed in 2011-12. A total of four aircraft are deployed in the network, but one aircraft is undergoing maintenance.

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North Korea's most recent missiles flew 260 miles and 170 miles. They were launched from Kusong in the northwest last Thursday.

News 1 reported Monday South Korea's military said the projectiles are still under analysis, but experts in Korea and elsewhere say the launch vehicles are similar to the Russian Iskander, a short-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

Kim Dong-yup, an analyst at Kyungnam University, said the missiles were on display during a North Korean military parade on Feb. 28, according to the report.

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The missiles have a range that exceeds 370 miles and can evade interceptors.

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