South Korea tests first submarine-launched ballistic missile

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By Josh Smith

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea has tested a ballistic missile (SLBM) from a submarine, the Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday, becoming the first country without nuclear weapons to develop such a capability.

A new Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine successfully completed the underwater ejection tests last week, after similar tests were carried out from a submerged barge last month, Yonhap reported https: //en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20210907001900325, citing unnamed military sources.

The Defense Ministry said it could not confirm details of the capabilities of individual military units for security reasons.

The Defense Development Agency made no comment and referred questions to the Defense Ministry.

Last week, the Defense Ministry released its defense plan for 2022-2026 which called for the development of new missiles https://www.reuters.com/world/skorea-says-it-is-developing-more- powerful-missiles-deter-nkorea -2021-09-02 “with considerably improved destructive power”.

SLBMs have been developed by seven other countries, including the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France, India, and North Korea. All of these countries also have arsenals of nuclear weapons, which have typically been used to arm SLBMs.

Yonhap said South Korea’s conventionally armed missile would have been codenamed Hyunmoo 4-4 and would be a variant of the country’s Hyunmoo-2B ballistic missile, with a flight range of around 500 kilometers (311 miles). .

South Korea has developed increasingly powerful missiles designed to target heavily fortified bunkers and tunnels in North Korea, as well as a way to reduce its military dependence on the stationed United States. thousands of soldiers on the peninsula.

Both Koreas cite military developments in the other as reasons to strengthen their capabilities.

North Korea has unveiled a slew of new SLBMs in recent years and appears to be building an operational submarine designed to transport them eventually.

(Reporting by Josh Smith. Additional reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Michael Perry)


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