For the first time, the Ministry of National Defense has officially formulated the development of an advanced offensive means called 'left side of launch' to defend against North Korean missiles.

It is an attack method that makes the missile completely inoperable by applying a cyber attack or electromagnetic wave attack to the control system during the missile launch preparation stage.

Kim Tae-hoon, a defense reporter, covered the story.


In 2016 and 2017, North Korea fired eight Musudan medium-range missiles, but seven exploded right before or after launch.

The New York Times pointed to the US 'Left of Launch' program as the cause of this unprecedented failure.

It is said that the launch control system was disturbed with cyber attacks such as hacking during the launch preparation stage, which is the left side of the launch, causing the Musudan launch to fail.

The United States has been developing a left-of-launch program since 2013, and the Ministry of National Defense also first formalized the launch of a left-of-launch program to “disrupt and destroy missiles before launch” in a year-end business report.

[Lee Jong-seop/Minister of Defense: North Korea wants to develop the concept of an operation that can disrupt or destroy it before launching a missile...


The plan is to develop means of cyber attacks such as hacking and electromagnetic waves that can neutralize North Korea's missile launch control system, and to operate them in a separate cyber-electromagnetic warfare unit under the Strategic Command.

A senior military official said:

The Ministry of National Defense reported on the three-axis system for North Korean missile defense, including the left side of the launch, and plans to strengthen the ROK-US joint training, and President Seok-Yeol Yoon asked for "more solidification of cooperation on extended deterrence between the ROK and the US."

(Video coverage: Hwang In-seok, Video editing: Jung Sung-hoon, CG: Son Seung-pil)