North Korea is reportedly upgrading its ageing multiple rocket launcher stations along the region bordering with South Korea, according to an unnamed a South Korean Government.
The official was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying that the North Korean military’s existing 107mm-calibre multiple rocket launchers are being replaced with the enhanced 240mm guns.
"We are detecting signs that the North is deploying the improved 240mm-caliber multiple rocket launchers, and the signs are showing up at some western and eastern frontline military units," the official added.
Noting the striking range of the improved 240mm gun to be 70km, the official said that the newly deployed artillery systems posed increased security threats to the south of South Korea’s capital region, which shares the border with Pyongyang.
In addition to the 107mm guns, the border region is believed to feature 122mm calibre rocket launchers, according to the news agency.
A US Department of Defense (DoD) report submitted to Congress on 2 May estimates the North Korean inventory to feature around 5,100 multiple rocket launcher systems.
Meanwhile, the South Korean Ministry of Defence (MoD) refused to confirm the report, further increasing tension on the Korean Peninsula that has been rising in the last few months.
North Korea also reportedly moved two transporter-erector-launchers (TEL) to South Hamgyeong Province, located near its north-east coast, fuelling speculation of an imminent missile launch in April this year.
The country also carried out its third underground nuclear test, despite the UN sanctions in February, sparking widespread condemnation from the international community.