North Korea just tried to show how it would 'take on' the US Navy
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, presided over the launch of a new anti-ship cruise missile system on June 8 in Wonsan, on North Korea’s east coast. And though the missiles performed well and struck their target, it was a pretty weak showing.
The missiles flew about 125 miles, South Korea said, and fired from tracked launchers with forest camouflage. The missiles themselves were not new, according to The Diplomat, but they showed off a new launcher that can fire from hidden, off-road locations within moments of being set up.
But those are about the only nice things you could say about these missiles.
In the photos released by North Korean media, it’s clear the missiles are striking a ship that isn’t moving.
In a combat situation, the ships would move and take countermeasures. For the US, South Korean, and Japanese navies, that often means firing an interceptor missile.
North Korea also lacks the ability to support these missiles with accurate guidance. The US would use planes, drones, or even undersea platforms to observe and track a target.
North Korea waited to test these missiles until two US aircraft carrier strike groups armed to the teeth with missile defense capabilities left its shores, perhaps to avoid embarrassment should the US knock them down.
Unlike its practice with ballistic-missile tests, which are banned under international law, the US did not publicly comment on this launch. North Korea is well within its rights to test a cruise missile in international waters.
But despite the rudimentary technology used in the launch, North Korea did show that it poses a real threat. Not only do the missile launchers leverage the element of surprise, but they represent yet another new missile capability.
In a few short months, North Korea has demonstrated a range of capabilities that has surprised experts and military observers. Though the missiles don’t pose a threat to the US Navy, Kim showed he’s serious about fighting on all fronts.
- 'Rocket man is on a suicide mission': Trump threatens to 'totally destroy North Korea' in major UN speech
- Mattis hints at secret 'kinetic' military options for North Korea
- Trump calls Iran deal 'an embarrassment' in UN speech, warns 'I don't think you've heard the last of it'
- 'We are a service that is too small': The Air Force is under strain and looking at some major shakeups
- It's the US Air Force's 70th birthday — here are 27 photos of it doing what it does best
- US officials are raising alarm over Colombia's cocaine boom, but they may be 'missing most of the picture'
This Marine creates amazing sculptures to remember fallen heroes -- free of charge
Spending nearly 70 hours creating each sculpture, Cliff Leonard carefully carves out the finest details, making each piece a real work of art.
This is why Iran is smuggling boatloads of weapons into Yemen
The top US admiral in the Middle East said that Iran continues to smuggle illicit weapons and technology into Yemen, stoking the civil strife.
This is why Trump wants a massive military parade on Pennsylvania Avenue
President Donald Trump's trip to France for the country's Bastille Day parade in July left him wanting to replicate the experience back home.
The Navy just fired more commanders connected with ship collisions
Just before hearings on Capitol Hill, the US Navy has fired two senior commanders in the Pacific region in connection with recent deadly collisions.
'The man who saved the world' dies at 77
Stanislav Petrov was on the overnight shift in the early morning hours of Sept. 26 when the computers showed US had launched five nuclear missiles.
This is the fictional country the Russians are training to fight
Just like the U.S. trains to fight in Atropia, Centralia, and North Brownland, the Russian military gears up to fight Veishnoriya to protect its interests.
9 struggles infantrymen know all too well about mail drops
While you're deployed, mail becomes a commodity. Emotions can roller coaster as that mail truck rolls in, though — you never actually know what you'll get.
Putin is keeping a watchful eye on the Zapad exercises
Putin attended the week-long war games with Belarus that have demonstrated the Russian military's resurgent might and made neighboring countries nervous.
This video of a Russian helicopter accidentally firing on observers is crazy
Two people were hospitalized with heavy injuries after a helicopter accidentally fired on observers, likely journalists, of the Zapad '17 exercises.
THE MIGHTY SURVEY GIVE-AWAY
We want to hear your thoughts. Complete our survey for a chance to win 1 of 5 gaming consoles