|South Koreans watch the trajectory of the rocket|
The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday for the first time publicly confirmed that its US$1.3 billion long-range early-warning radar (EWR) system in Hsinchu was operational and said it had tracked a highly controversial rocket launch shortly after it blasted off in North Korea.
In a statement, the ministry said it closely monitored the launch and that the rocket’s flight did not pose any threat to national security.
|The EWR at Leshan|
Ministry spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said Chief of General Staff General Lin Chen-yi (林鎮夷) was charged with monitoring the situation at Hengshan Headquarters during the launch, adding that US-made Patriot missiles, domestically built Tien Kung air defense systems and Kidd-class destroyers equipped with surface-to-air missiles monitored the launch and were ready to respond.
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here. More of my coverage, with critics of the EWR’s vulnerabilities, in Jane’s Defence Weekly (subscription required).