In a bizarre incident, a Hyunmoo-2 short-range ballistic missile got the South Korean authorities alerted as it miserably failed at its launch that took place on Oct. 4, at the base in the east coast city of Gangneung. Consequently, the failed attempt at the missile launch originated large clouds of fire in the surrounding area, and this has been ascertained by South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, it should be noted that no causalities have been reported as of now and this has further been confirmed by NK News.
Coupled with this, as per the statement issued by South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, “The failed launch came during combined US-ROK surface-to-surface missile drills conducted in response to North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile test over Japan earlier Tuesday. The US and ROK each successfully fired 2 ATACMS [Army Tactical Missile System short-range ballistic missiles] at targets in the sea.” Furthermore, according to Yonhap News Agency, “There were no casualties due to the abnormal fall of the Hyunmoo missile.”
In addition to this, North Korea has recently launched a ballistic missile over Japan, and that too for the “first time in five years,” and this has spurred the North Korean authorities to fire a similar missile as a response. In the videos that made the rounds online, it can be seen that the ROKAFs’ 18th Fighter Wing has been positioned at the subject base, which is about 60 miles away from the North Korean border. The location of the base provides it with a competitive edge as it is stationed near the East Sea, which makes the missiles accessible to the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone.
Not to mention, the ATACMS and one Hyunmoo-2A missile were launched over Japan by North Korea in 2017, and this recently launched missile is somewhat similar in terms of capabilities to the ATACMS and one Hyunmoo-2A missile. It should be noted that the South Korean authorities are planning to get their hands on an indigenously developed KF-21 fighter jet that will make its way to the base, most probably, at the end of this decade. To that end, no information is available as of now regarding the destruction the missile caused.
On the other hand, the spokesperson of the Pentagon, John Supple, said, “Our understanding is that US soldiers were [nearby] (although not involved), so in terms of when we were informed, essentially real-time,” It’s under investigation by the ROK military at this time, so we will not say anything that gets ahead of that investigation.” Similarly, in the official and updated press release, it was stated, “The military said it was investigating what caused the ‘abnormal flight’ of a missile that is a key weapon in South Korea’s preemptive and retaliatory strike strategies against the North.”