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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

S. Korea takes seriously DPRK's claim of having successful tested solid-fuel rocket

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 14:27, March 24, 2016

SEOUL, March 24 -- South Korea's Defense Ministry said Thursday that it took seriously the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s claim to have successfully tested a solid-fuel rocket engine as it means Pyongyang's constant readiness to fire missiles.

Defense Ministry Spokesman Moon Sang-Gyun told a regular press briefing that the DPRK seemed to be in a stage of developing the solid-fuel rocket, saying that it means making it possible for the DPRK to launch missiles on a constant basis.

Moon said the South Korean military has been devising countermeasures as it had expected the DPRK's development of a solid-fuel rocket. He said the military took it seriously.

Top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un said his country succeeded in testing a solid-fuel rocket engine of large output, according to the DPRK's state-run KCNA news agency. Kim said the test enhanced the power of ballistic rockets capable of mercilessly striking hostile forces.

Kim guided a ground test of a solid-fuel rocket engine and its separation, calling it a historic, unforgettable day. The solid-fuel missiles allegedly have many advantages in military use thanks to its mobility and reduced time to launch. Liquid-fuelled missiles take long to launch and can be detected more easily for a fuelling time.

According to South Korean experts, Pyongyang now uses solid fuel only for some of short-range missiles, not for medium- and long-range ballistic missiles. The solid fuel would lessen the length of missiles and enable the missiles to be launched in a short time.

Moon said the DPRK's FROG missiles use solid fuel while other missiles use liquid fuel, noting that Pyongyang's claim to the successful test of a solid-fuel rocket engine seemed to be aimed at showcasing the progress in its nuclear and missile development.

The spokesman, however, added that the DPRK's claim requires additional analysis to confirm it.

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