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(2nd LD) N. Korea's 'SA-5 missile' fired across NLL similar to Russia's missile used in Ukraine war: S. Korean military

Defense 14:55 November 09, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details throughout)
By Kim Soo-yeon and Chae Yun-hwan

SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- The North Korean missile that flew across its de facto maritime border with South Korea last week has been found to be an "SA-5" type similar to that used by Russia in the Ukraine war, South Korea's military said Wednesday.

The defense ministry announced the results of an interagency analysis of the debris of a missile that North Korea fired southward on Nov. 2 past the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the East Sea.

The debris is around 3 meters long and 2 meters wide, and assessed to be that of an "SA-5" surface-to-air missile, given its appearance and feature, it said.

The retrieved remnant of the missile had Russian writing on it, suggesting the North assembled imported parts of the weapon developed in the Soviet Era. The SA-5 is known to have a maximum range of 260-300 kilometers, flying at an apogee of some 40 km.

"Whether this missile is Russian-made or not cannot be confirmed," a military official told reporters on background.

This photo, provided by South Korea's defense ministry on Nov. 9, 2022, shows the retrieved debris of a missile that North Korea flew across its de facto maritime border with South Korea on Nov. 2. The Ministry of National Defense said the missile has been found to be an "SA-5" type similar to that used by Russia in the Ukraine war. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This photo, provided by South Korea's defense ministry on Nov. 9, 2022, shows the retrieved debris of a missile that North Korea flew across its de facto maritime border with South Korea on Nov. 2. The Ministry of National Defense said the missile has been found to be an "SA-5" type similar to that used by Russia in the Ukraine war. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Another official said, "The missile's accuracy is relatively lower than that of the North's new SRBMs. Its trajectory is at a level where it can be intercepted by our military's interception system."

The Navy used a remotely-operated underwater vehicle to salvage the debris Sunday, which included the missile's four main wings, and parts of its liquid fuel tank, the engine and the nozzle.

The SA-5 type, also known as the S-200, was developed by the Soviet Union in 1967 and uses a liquid-fuel main engine.

It can be used for a ground-to-ground strike purpose, and Russia recently used a similar missile in its war in Ukraine, the ministry added.

The ministry "strongly" condemned the North's SA-5 missile firing as a violation of the inter-Korean military agreement signed on Sept. 19, 2018, to reduce border tensions.

"Our military will not tolerate any North Korean provocation that poses a threat to our nationals' lives and safety. We will sternly deal with it with overwhelming capabilities based on the Seoul-Washington alliance," the ministry said.

The military had initially assessed the missile at the time of its launch as an SRBM based on its trajectory, saying it marks the first time the North has sent a ballistic missile toward the South since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. It flew 190 km at an apogee of over 100 km, it said.

This photo, carried by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Nov. 7, 2022, shows North Korea conducting "military operations" with missile tests between Nov. 2 and 5 in response to large-scale joint aerial drills of South Korea and the United States. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

This photo, carried by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Nov. 7, 2022, shows North Korea conducting "military operations" with missile tests between Nov. 2 and 5 in response to large-scale joint aerial drills of South Korea and the United States. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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