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CBRN Assessment

RoKA highlights role ballistic missiles could play in conflict with Pyongyang

20 October 2017

The Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) has said that it is confident of its capabilities to quickly destroy North Korea's frontline artillery systems in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula, according the Yonhap news agency.

The media outlet reported that in a document drafted for the South Korean National Assembly, the RoKA presented on 19 October a three-tier missile strike concept for the early stage of a potential armed conflict, pointing out that the first weapon to be deployed would be the Korea Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile-I (KTSSM-I), a model of which was first publically displayed at this year’s Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX).A still image from video footage released by South Korea's MND in July shows the test-firing of a Korea Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile (KTSSM). (South Korean MND)A still image from video footage released by South Korea's MND in July shows the test-firing of a Korea Tactical Surface-to-Surface Missile (KTSSM). (South Korean MND)

Also known as ‘artillery killer’, the tactical ballistic missile system, which was developed by the country’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and defence company Hanwha, has been designed to carry out precision-strikes. Four missiles can be launched almost simultaneously from a static launching platform, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Seoul. First images of the missile being test-fired were released by the MND on 28 July.

"KTSSM-I will strike the enemy's tunnels with the [North Korean M1978] 170 mm self-propelled howitzers and [M1985 and M1991] 240 mm multiple-rocket launch systems," Yonhap quoted the RoKA as saying in the document, pointing out that most of the North's artillery equipment is deployed along the demilitarised zone and the coast of its border islands.

The media outlet also mentioned a previously unknown missile called the ‘KTSSM-II’, which it said would be used to attack and neutralise facilities housing North Korea’s ‘Scud’-type (Hwasong-5/-6/-9) missiles and (KN-09, KN-SS-X-09) 300 mm rocket launchers.

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