South Korea conducts launch exercises with Hyunmoo missiles

Regular launch exercises are being conducted as of this year for Hyunmoo-series missiles that are currently in service, military authorities announced. Yoo Kang-moon reports on Hankyoreh.

South Korea conducts launch exercises with Hyunmoo missiles
An M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System from A Battery, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Republic of Korea/United States Combined Division, fires an MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile into the East Sea, July 5. The missile launch demonstrated the combined deep strike capabilities which allow the ROK/U.S. Alliance to neutralize hostile threats and aggression against the ROK, U.S. and Allies (Picture source: U.S. Army / Sgt. Sinthia Rosario, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

In a Q&A session for a National Assembly National Defense Committee parliamentary audit at the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) headquarters on Oct. 8, Maj.Gen. Lee Jeong-su, commander of the South Korean Army Missile Command, stated that “Missile firing exercises are being staged on a regular basis, with launch tests conducted as of this year. We’ve had one [exercise] this year and are planning additional ones going forward,” he added. We had not done launch tests since 2013, but in 2017 we conducted five tests with seven [missiles] in response to North Korea’s missile launch.”

When asked to compare the level of South Korea’s missiles with those of North Korea, Maj. Gen. Lee Jeong-su said, “In terms of firing range, ours are inferior [to North Korea’s], but ours are superior in terms of precision and power.”

JCS Chairman Gen. Park Han-ki was asked whether missile exercises would be held in the future. “We intend to increase the volume of exercises, including test launches,” he replied. When asked how often missile interception exercises were held, he said, “We have one a month with South Korean assets, and we also do exercises with joint South Korea-US assets.”

South Korea and the US are reportedly using Patriot (PAC) missiles for interception exercises. But Park stressed, “We are not doing joint exercises with THAAD [the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system].”

Regarding the situation with North Korean drones, Park said the North “possesses roughly 500 of them.”