The South Korean military has announced that the missile fired at night in Polish time has reached the speed of Mach 10, which is 10 times the speed of sound. The opposition presidential candidate warned that such a missile could reach Seoul in less than a minute.
According to the College of Chiefs of Staff of the South Korean Armed Forces, launched on Tuesday the missile was more modern than on the previous test on January 5, which Pyongyang described as the “hypersonic weapon” test. The missile was fired from the North Korean province of Dzagang and fell into the Sea of Japan. It flew over 700 kilometers, reaching a maximum altitude of 60 km and a speed of Mach 10 – reported to the College underlining that the attempt was in violation of a UN Security Council resolution.
The Yonhap news agency points out that so far the college has questioned Pyongyang’s claims about the alleged development of hypersonic weapons as “exaggerated.” It also assessed that the regime did not yet have the technology needed to create such weapons. Experts emphasize that the speed of Mach 10 itself is not the decisive factor in determining whether the missile fired by North Korea belonged to the class of hypersonic weapons, because “ordinary medium-range missiles” most often reach Mach 9 or 10 speeds in certain phases of flight – writes Yonhap.
“South Korea and the US need careful scrutiny for more details,” a college official told reporters, reserving anonymity.
North Korea’s second missile test in two weeks has shown differences of opinion on the South Korean political scene ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for March 9.
The current president, Mun Dze In, who is working to improve relations with North Korea and sign a formal peace treaty, expressed concern about another test. I ask all ministries to take the necessary measures to ensure that there are no further tensions in the relations between the two Korean states, so that our citizens do not feel upset Mun said.
The main opposition candidate, Jun Suk Jeol, assessed that a potential nuclear attack by North Korea could destroy Seoul, and that the only effective way of defense would be a pre-emptive strike. He accused Muna of being too submissive to the Pyongyang regime. If a missile with a velocity greater than Mach 5 were fired, and if it carried a nuclear warhead, it would reach the capital and cause a massacre in less than a minute. It would be virtually impossible to intercept – said Jun.