North Korea-Japan enmity going hypersonic – Asia Times

North Korea-Japan enmity going hypersonic - Asia Times

Japan and North Korea have increased their wings race to a higher degree, a tit-for-tat increase with significant implications for regional stability and security.

On the other hand, North Korea has announced plans to launch a cluster of spy satellites and has tested a hypersonic tool. On the other hand, Japan is putting together plans to upgrade its alliance with the United States, test its next-generation missile defence sensor, and make purchases of cruise missiles more quickly. &nbsp,

By the end of this year, North Korea plans to launch some spy satellites, which would mark the country’s 11th anniversary of its area industry, according to Newsweek and others. This week’s spy satellite start follows North Korea’s effective launch of its first surveillance satellite, the Malligyong- 1, next November.

According to North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration Deputy Director General Pak Kyong But, Malligyong-1 demonstrated the progress the ruling Workers ‘ Party of Korea has made in expanding its military force by conquering place. He added that” several” additional reconnaissance satellites are on the horizon this year.

North Korea’s spacecraft enable it to identify, monitor and track South Asian, US, and Japanese forces, assets and countermeasures both on the island and the broader area. According to the Newsweek article, North Korea’s ability to deceive is improved as a result of its participation with Russia, which has improved since the Ukraine conflict.

Additionally, North Korea’s prepared spy satellite constellation may significantly enhance its ability to target. The next logical step in the development of Pyongyang’s fierce missile arsenal is to continue testing fast missiles.

Building on those intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance ( ISR ) and target acquisition capabilities ( TA ), The Japan Times reported that North Korea had tested a new hypersonic intermediate- range solid- fuel missile named the Hwasong- 16B.

The North Korean Supreme Leader Kim, who described the Hwasong- 16B weapon as a crucial component of the nation’s nuclear deterrent, directed the testing, according to The Japan Times. He vowed to build up North Korea’s nuclear arsenal more to store the government’s “enemies”, a guide to the US, South Korea and Japan.

Kim Jong Un, the president of North Korea, poses in front of an intercontinental ballistic missile in March 2022. Photo: Asian Central News Agency

The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea claimed that the missile’s weapon few about 600 meters and that North Korea had been overstating its flight effectiveness while acknowledging that North Korean systems were progressing.

However, the same report makes it clear that it is still unclear whether North Korea has developed the technologies necessary to ensure that the missiles of its intercontinental ballistic and fast solid-fuel missiles can survive the harsh atmospheric re-entry.

In December 2022, the Asia Times reported that solid-fuel weapons have a number of benefits over their liquid-fuel counterparts. These include a more simple design with no difficult pipes or pumps, no dangerous liquid fuel, long storage life, improved mobility, and no need for hours- much preflight fueling.

These benefits might make it possible for North Korea’s missiles to launch strikes without notice. North Korea’s regular advancements in area- based targeting have prompted Japan to boost its defenses, emphasizing long- selection” counterstrike” capabilities. Nevertheless, a pre- emptive attack against North Korea’s weapon army or its management runs the risk of nuclear retaliation.

With that risk in mind, Japan will probably concentrate on developing technologies to deflect coming missiles and destroy North Korea’s kill chain, which includes its ISR and TA capabilities as well as its data and communication links.

Aegis System Equipped Vessels, Japan’s next-generation big floor combatants, have passed a crucial area thing monitoring test, according to The Warzone. The Warzone claims that the AN/SPY-7 ( V ) 1 radar used in the ASEVs has successfully demonstrated its ability to track targets outside the Earth’s atmosphere, which is necessary for the effective deployment of SM-3 anti-missile interceptors designed to defuse ballistic missiles during their mid-course flight.

While Japan’s ASEVs are primarily designed for ballistic missile defense ( BMD), and to free up more US and Japanese warships for anti-submarine missiles, upgrades throughout their service lives may allow them to become a potent anti-hypersonic platform. These upgrades might include railguns and the Glide Phase Interceptor ( GPI ) that the US and Glock developed together.

However, Japan’s ASEVs may pose significant operational challenges and have critical vulnerabilities. Maintaining ASEVs at round-the-clock operational readiness may be more challenging than maintaining land-based defenses at constant readiness. Japan’s ASEVs will also likely become priority targets for North Korea and China’s missile arsenals.

Japan’s purchase of US-made Tomahawk missiles gives those warships a long-range punch against North Korea and China in addition to giving them anti-hypersonic capabilities.

Last month, NHK reported that the US Navy has begun training Japan Self- Defense Forces ( JSDF) personnel to handle Tomahawk cruise missiles, following the latter’s decision to purchase 400 advanced munitions. &nbsp,

In October 2023, Japan announced its intention to purchase 200 missiles in the fiscal years 2026 and 2027 and to equip all of its eight Aegis destroyers with Tomahawks by 2027, according to Asia Times.

However, Japan has not been clear on how it plans to use those counterstrike capabilities. Japanese leaders have differentiated between various capabilities, including enemy base strike, missile prevention and interdiction, counterattack, pre- emptive strike, missile defense and comprehensive air and missile defense.

Still, counterstrike capabilities are expected to benefit the US- Japan alliance, leading to improved joint operations and enhanced deterrence. However, the Joint Operation Command ( OPCON ) has yet to be integrated into the alliance for various reasons.

That situation may be about to change. The US and Japan intend to restructure the military command in the latter to improve operational planning, according to the Financial Times (FT ) last month. Plans for this change will be made public later this month.

A US Marines MV-22 Osprey is directed by Japanese sailors aboard the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ( JMSDF) ship JS Hyuga during the Dawn Blitz 2015 exercise off the coast of Southern California. Photo: Asia Times Files / AFP / Mark Ralston

FT mentions that US- Japan military operations are currently hampered by the JSDF’s need to coordinate with the US Indo- Pacific Command ( USINDOPACOM) in Hawaii, which is 19 hours behind Tokyo and 6, 200 kilometers away, instead of US Forces Japan ( USFJ).

According to the FT report, the US is considering establishing a new joint US military force that would eventually have its headquarters in Japan. Additionally, it specifies that upgrading USFJ is a second choice.

Despite partially co-locating US and Japan commands in the latter, according to FT, issues like unclear leadership and operational relationships, resource allocation, chain of command, and inter-service rivalry must still be resolved. This may increase the deterrent value of the US-Japan alliance and increase responsiveness to regional threats.