N.K. missile tests designed to beat THAAD: congressional report

WASHINGTON-- North Korea is believed to have designed its series of missile tests in a way that can beat THAAD and other U.S. missile defense systems aimed at protecting South Korea and Japan, according to a congressional report Thursday.

The Congressional Research Service said in a report cited by the Washington Times that the North test-launched missiles last year in flights precisely designed to avoid interception by rocketing them into much higher altitudes.

That was aimed at getting the reentry warhead to descend at a steeper angle and faster speed, "making it potentially more difficult to intercept with a missile defense system," the CRS report said, according to the newspaper.

The North has also demonstrated an ability to launch a salvo attack with multiple missiles, it said.

"This is consistent with a possible goal of being able to conduct large ballistic missile attacks with large raid sizes, a capability that could make it more challenging for a missile defense system to destroy each incoming warhead," the CRS report said.

The North's missile tests are not just for a show of force, but could be "intended to increase the reliability, effectiveness and survivability of their ballistic missile force," the CRS report said.

"The intelligence community believes that North Korea has an ICBM capability, but that it has not been tested and that neither North Korea nor the United States knows whether that capability will work," the report said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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