Expert: N.Korea cruise missile a 'new threat'

A Japanese military analyst warns that North Korea's new cruise missile will be a threat to the region.

Koizumi Yu is an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology.

Koizumi spoke after North Korea's state-run media on Monday reported successful test-firings of a new type of long-range cruise missiles on Saturday and Sunday.

The media said the missiles developed by the Academy of Defence Science hit targets 1,500 kilometers away after travelling for 7,580 seconds "along an oval and pattern-8 flight orbits" above the country's territorial land and waters.

Koizumi says the 1,500-kilometer range suggests that the missile's main target is Japan, especially US military bases in the country.

He warns that Japan needs to prepare for a situation in which North Korea fires cruise and ballistic missiles simultaneously. It is generally said that cruise missiles travel at lower altitudes, making them difficult to be detected by radar.

Koizumi stresses the necessity to further analyze the new cruise missile as it remains unknown how precise the missile is.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency has likened the North's missile to the US military's Tomahawk cruise missile.