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N. Korea fast narrowing missile technology with S. Korea: defense development agency chief

All News 14:53 October 20, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is developing its missile capabilities at a pace much faster than expected, significantly narrowing the gap in weapons technology with South Korea, the chief of a state-run defense development agency said Tuesday.

Nam Sae-kyu, head of the Agency for Defense Development, made the remark during a parliamentary audit session, while providing an analysis on weapons the North unveiled in a recent military parade.

"I thought we were some 20 years ahead in terms of solid (propellant) ballistic missile or other missile systems, but after watching (the military parade), I thought the gap has more than halved," he said.

On Oct. 10, North Korea held the parade to mark the 75th founding anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party, unveiling a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), along with other weapons.

"We have done a lot of analysis (on the weapons rolled out during the military parade). I felt (North Korea's weapons) are improving more practically compared to five years ago," Nam said.

The communist country is believed to be continuing efforts to advance its nuclear and missile capabilities amid stalled denuclearization talks with the United States. The North has also been working to modernize its conventional weapons system, including short-range ballistic missiles that can target South Korea.

This photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency shows rocket launcher vehicles during a military parade held at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on Oct. 10, 2020, to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the Workers' Party. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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