North Korea is preparing to fire multiple short-range rockets around the opening of the Chinese Communist Party’s twice-a-decade congress on Oct. 18, the Seoul-based Asia Business Daily reports, citing an unidentified person. According to the newspaper, the U.S. and South Korean militaries have recently spotted about 30 Scud rockets being moved from Hwangju, south of the capital Pyongyang, to a missile maintenance facility in the western coastal city of Nampo.
More from the report, google translated:
According to the authorities, the ROK-US military intelligence agency captured the process of transferring 30 Scud missiles deployed in the Hwangju area of ??North Hwanghae province to a missile repair facility in Jamsun, West Sea, Nampo, through information assets. It is unusual for North Korea to massively move Scud missiles.
The Jangjin missile factory, which North Korea refers to as the Taesung Machinery Factory, is the most important missile production plant in North Korea, producing a variety of missiles such as scud and labor. Kim Jong-un inspects the Jamsil plant in March last year, when the North Korean Workers’ Party chairman passed a resolution imposing sanctions on the UN Security Council, emphasizing that “the working class should shine forth the immortal achievements of the followers with high productivity.” to be.
The US military says the signs of North Korea ‘s massive missile launch are similar to those of a Frog rocket launched in March 2014. It is predicted that the missile will be launched in a bunch of scud missiles to avoid blaming the international community for the long-range ballistic missile provocation and to check off the multinational offshore power gathering near the Korean peninsula.
Some argue that Scud missiles are intended to be upgraded to Scud-ER missiles. On September 5, last year, North Korea shot 1000 kilometers of Scud-ER in Hwangju. It is the first time Korea and America have caught the test launch of the Scud-ER, which has improved the Scud. At the time, North Korea reported that “the drill was conducted to limit the range of the missile to the port and airfields of South Korea, where nuclear weapon equipment is being used.”
Scud-ER missiles are equipped with various aids to increase the precision of the ASBM combined with ballistic missiles, and may threaten the US military reinforcements deployed on the Korean Peninsula in case of emergency. When a satellite receiver (GPS) receiver is mounted on the Scud-ER missile, the ground stationary target can be struck precisely. North Korea succeeded in precise induction by attaching a GPS receiver to a new 300mm radial tube.
As Bloomberg adds, while launching dozens of short-range rockets simultaneously is unusual, it’s not unprecedented. In March 2014, Kim Jong Un’s regime fired 71 of them in a single week. Such a move would also show how North Korea is capable of various types of provocation, having spent the past few months testing missiles that could potentially deliver a nuclear warhead to the U.S. mainland.
Firing the missiles would be an act of protest against the U.S. and South Korea’s joint military exercises, which include mobilizing key American assets such as aircraft carriers, the daily said. Such a launch would be deemed a substantial act of provocation by the White House and would lead to another sharp round of escalations and potential retaliation by the Trump administration.