With North Korea continuing to cause disturbance to its neighbors, allies South Korea, Japan, and the United States have become “more aligned than ever” against provocative behaviors in the region.

Pyongyang’s series of live missile testing (both ballistic and cruise missiles) alarmingly inching near its neighbors’ borders and waters has been the town’s talk since late September and the latest dated last Wednesday when Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) reportedly fired at least one ballistic missile into the East Sea.

Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters that “the missile flew about 250 kilometers (about 155 miles) at a very low altitude of about 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) or less.” At the same time, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) added that it had detected the origin of the launch at around 3:31 PM (KST) from the Sukchon area of South Pyongan province. The JCS also reported identifying the recovered debris from an earlier launch, saying it was not a short-range ballistic but a Soviet-era SA-5 surface-to-air missile.

The salvaged debris was among the 23 missiles fired by Pyongyang on November 2, which landed close to Seoul’s territorial waters.

Far From Modernization

An analysis by Reuters explained that the debris had shown the age of North Korea’s air defense systems and aircraft and how it is currently working on modernizing its weapons. Analysts further noted that while the nuclear-armed country makes headlines thanks to its “powerful” ballistic missiles, it has been quietly spending its resources on the other hand “into trying to find ways to counter stealth fighters” most of its adversaries have these days compared to its aging fleet.

Dragged by uptight sanctions as well as lagging behind due to shutting itself from the rest of the international community, North Korea has not imported any new combat planes since the early 2000s resorting instead to “cheaper and easier-to-use air-defense missiles.” Consequently, saving aging weapons in its arsenals like many former Soviet allies who still keep post-Cold War military equipment—including missiles, warplanes, and air defense systems, to name a few.