Surface Forces: North Korea Honors the Past


May 30, 2007: North Koreas May 26th missile test was more of a vapid protest against the launching of a new South Korea warship (a 7,900 ton destroyer equipped with the Aegis radar system), than a demonstration of fearsome military technology. While South Korea was showing off the latest in naval technology, North Korea was test firing a half century old anti-ship missile design. This was an NX-1 missile, an updated version of the original anti-ship missile, the Russian SS-N-1. This is a three ton missile that never really amounted to much, and was withdrawn from Russian service in the 1970s. The North Korea version has a longer range (at least 110 kilometers) and is supposed to be more reliable and accurate.

North Korea has become quite the expert in taking old Russian missile designs, cleaning them up, and building them for their own use, and for export. While these missiles can be effective, never forget that they are, in some cases, half century old technology, going up against 21st century countermeasures. South Korean intelligence also noted that the North Koreans had not removed the test equipment from the coast, and is apparently going to test some more missiles shortly.


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