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Did Russian Air Defenses Fail Again?


A South Korean army soldier walks by a TV news program showing a file image of missiles being test-launched by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, May 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korea launched another missile — and it landed close to Russia

Of course, this report has a strange twist.  Russia denies the North Korean missile landed near Russia. 

The missile launched by North Korea on Sunday night landed 500 kilometers from the territory of Russia, as state by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

“The ballistic target was followed by a missile warning system for 23 minutes of its flight before the fall into the central part of the Sea of Japan (about 500 km from the territory of Russia),” the statement of the Russian Ministry of Defense reads.

The Ministry states that the trajectory of the North Korean missile was not in the direction of the Russian border and at a considerable distance from it.

The Russian MoD stated that “No danger to the Russian Federation was posed by the missile launch”.

Earlier, the White House reported that the missile fell close to Russian borders. Reuters reported, citing an unnamed US official that the missile landed 96.5 km from the Russian city of Vladivostok.

North Korea launched the missile on the night of May 14th.

Also from UAWire: 

Why is UAWire publishing reports so radically different?   The second report cites RIA Novosti as a source.  Going to RIA Novosti and searching in Russian, the original report can be found here: The Defense Ministry made it clear how far from the Russian border fell DPRK rocket.  The huge discrepancy between 97 km and 500 km is not explained.  Perhaps 97 km is considered too close to Russia, so the distance is changed in Russian reporting to explain why Russia did not launch an air defense missile at the possible threat.  If this is the case, perhaps Russian air defenses, once again, were caught flat-footed.  First in Syria, now in Vladivostok.  

The S-300 has a lateral range of 40 km from the battery site, according to the manufacturer, GSKB Almaz-Antey.  The Russians only have a limited number of S-400s (I know of Kaliningrad).  Is this a gap in coverage?  Why doesn’t Russia have an S-400 arrayed against a known threat like North Korea? 

Perhaps this explains this article, published, obviously, AFTER the North Korean missile test.  Russia Air Defenses in Far East on High Alert Amid Pyongyang Missile Test

USFK, US Forces in Korea, released a statement:

U.S. Pacific Command detects, tracks North Korean missile launch 미태평양사령부, 북한 미사일 발사 탐지

CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii —

U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked a North Korean missile launch at approximately 5:30 a.m. (Korea Standard Time) May 14, 2017.

미태평양사령부는 2017년 5월 14일 오전 05:30 분(한국표준시간) 경에 북한미사일발사를 감지했다.

The missile was launched near Kusung and landed in the waters East of the Korean Peninsula.

미사일은 구성 부근에서 발사되었고 동해상에 떨어졌다.

The type of missile is being assessed and the flight was not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile.

미사일의 종류는 현재 분석중에 있으며 해당 미사일은 대륙간탄도미사일로 분석되지는 않는다.

U.S. Pacific Command is fully committed to working closely with our Republic of Korea and Japanese allies to maintain security.

미태평양사령부는 대한민국과 일본과 긴밀히 협조하여 역내 안보유지를 위해 헌신한다.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.

북아메리카항공우주방위군은 북한에서 발사된 미사일이 북아메리카에 위협이 되지 않는다고 판단했다.

The missile test is seen as two things, a test for new South Korean President Moon, and a statement of retaliation for a perceived US CIA attempt to assassinate Kim Jong Un.  Kim Jong Un summoned the UK’s Ambassador to North Korea to chastise him for the perceived assassination attempt.

One must consider that the PACOM IO office played a hand in the news release of DPRK missile test. Of course, this is pure conjecture on my part, but by giving an exact figure for the missile landing spot being 97 km from Russian territory, this creates a possible diplomatic crisis and absolutely creates a Russian military screw-up. This tiny little wrench can create problems for both Russia and North Korea, two birds with one stone. I strongly doubt it happened, but wouldn’t it be neat…

Bottom line, however, the DPRK missile flew for at least 23 minutes, reached an altitude of 2,000 kilometers, and fell into the Sea of Japan. At issue is where, exactly, the missile landed.  If indeed it did land 97 km away from Russian soil, after reaching an altitude of 2,000 kilometers, this is relatively close to Russian territory and Russian air defenses probably SHOULD have fired to defend mother Russia.  Is Russia saving face, trying to avoid an embarrassment? Is Russia trying to preserve sales to foreign countries?  Is there going to be yet another shakeup in the Russian military leadership?

One last possibility that must be considered.  Is the vaunted S-400 a worthless piece of crap?  Oh, I forgot, Russia doesn’t have enough S-400s to defend their own territory in Vladivostok against a known rogue wild threat of the DPRK and the S-300V4 lacks the range.  While we’re on the subject, where is the much awaited new S-500, which is supposed to have the range to bag such IRBMs? The program is running years late and Russia is cutting the military budget to shreds. The S-300V4 has limitations, they do not have the performance to bag these DPRK IRBMs at 97 kms. The DPRK will soon be able to play extortion games against Russia well before the DPRK has the ICBM capability to play such games against the US. ‘Russia, pay up or we will drop a nuke on you.’

</end editorial>



North Korea launched another missile — and it landed close to Russia

“A FLAGRANT MENACE”

North Korea launched another missile — and it landed close to Russia

North Korea fired yet another ballistic missile on Sunday (its 10th missile launch over six tests this year), days after its neighbor South Korea elected a new president who has called for greater dialogue with Pyongyang.

The missile’s specifics are still being analyzed by experts, but Japanese officials determined that it reached an altitude of 1,245 miles during its 30-minutes flight, covering a distance of 430 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan. U.S. officials said that the missile landed in the sea about 60 miles south of Russia, CNN reports.

“It is possibly a new type of missile,” Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told reporters in Tokyo. Yet it’s not believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile of the type that the U.S. fears North Korea is developing. The U.S. military is still assessing the missile launch, but has not changed its national security threat assessment,  Reuters reports.

The success and range of this latest missile test, if Japan’s early analysis holds up, would heighten fears that Pyongyang is closer than previously thought to the sort of capability that would allow it to strike U.S. bases in the Pacific, like those in Guam, BBC reports.

North Korea is forbidden from developing ballistic missiles under a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions — resolutions that it has consistently ignored.

The new South Korean president, Moon Jae-In, called for a meeting of top officials in response to the test, but emphasized that he continued to be open to dialogue with the North. “We keep our door open for dialogue with North Korea, but we must act decisively against North Korean provocations so that it will not miscalculate,” Moon was quoted as saying by his office, according to the New York Times.

China’s President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced concern over the launch, with Xi saying that both countries are playing an “important role as a balancing power” in seeking to defuse conflict both on the Korean peninsula, according to the Associated Press. The missile launch came while leaders from 29 countries were meeting in Beijing at a summit where China is advocating greater trade between Asia, Europe, and Africa. China, North Korea’s most important ally and key trading partner, has sought to ease tensions over Pyongyang’s missile defense program.

The White House, meanwhile, released a statement calling North Korea a “flagrant menace” and called for the implementation of stronger sanctions. The terse statement also attempted to interpret how Russia, which along with China is a vital trading partner to the reclusive country, might respond to the missile launch.

“With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil — in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan — the president cannot imagine that Russia is pleased,” the statement from Press Secretary Sean Spicer read.

On Saturday, a top North Korean diplomat told reporters in Beijing that her country would be willing to open talks with the U.S., but did not elaborate on the country’s conditions for opening communication. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters Sunday that the missile launch was the result of Kim Jong-Un’s “state of paranoia” following the presidential election in South Korea. Haley added that firing a missile was not a viable path to a meeting with President Donald Trump.

Source: https://news.vice.com/story/north-korea-launched-another-missile-and-it-landed-close-to-russia

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