Radar tracking North Korea missiles failed 21 times in 3 years, Seoul says

SEOUL, Oct. 3 (UPI) — Missile-defense radar in South Korea malfunctioned 21 times in three years, raising concerns about military oversight in the face of growing North Korea provocations.

From 2013 to June 2016, the Israel-made Green Pine radar failed because of an irregularity in its dew control system, according to documents from the South Korean military sent to South Korean ruling party lawmaker Lee Chul-gyu.

The radar broke down in two locations, local news service News 1 reported Monday.

One radar, located in North Chungcheong Province in central South Korea, failed eight times, while another Green Pine system in South Chungcheong Province shut down 13 times.

The data from Seoul’s military show Green Pine radar systems malfunctioned three times in 2013, five times in 2014, eight times in 2015, and five times in 2016, for a total of 472 hours, or nearly 20 days.

South Korea began deploying two Green Pine radars in 2012.

The malfunction of the first radar, while the second radar is not in use, can pose problems because it can take about two hours for the Green Pine radar to be fully operational after it is turned on, according to the report.

The South Korean navy’s SPY-1D radar on Aegis destroyers also tracks any incoming missiles, but may not be enough in the case of an attack, the military stated.

Lee said the failure occurred because “radomes” protecting the radar were not being applied, and the radars were not being properly cooled in the summer.

The tracking technology is part of South Korea’s homegrown anti-missile systems, the Korean Air and Missile Defense, or KAMD, and Kill Chain.

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