S Korea says it has successfully tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile

A submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is launched from 3,000 ton class Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine during its test
A submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) has been test-launched from the 3,000-tonne class Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine.
A submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is launched on September 15, 2021 in this handout photo provided by the Ministry of Defense at an undisclosed location during a test run from the 3,000-ton class Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine. Handout via MOD / REUTERS NOTE Editor – This image is provided by a third party. No resale. No collection.

September 15, 2021

by Hynohei Shino

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea successfully tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on Wednesday, becoming the first country without nuclear weapons to develop such a system as it aims to better exploit North Korea’s growing capabilities. have to compete.

South Korea’s missile test took place on the same day that North Korea fired a pair of ballistic missiles -09-15 off its east coast, in violation of UN sanctions and some of the tests of a cruise missile with potential nuclear capabilities. Days later the tension escalated.

His office said President Moon Jae-in last month participated in an underwater ejection test of an SLBM aboard the new 3,000-tonne class Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine.

The test would make South Korea the first country without nuclear weapons to fire such a missile. Other countries that have tested or developed SLBMs, including the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, North Korea and India, have typically designed them to carry nuclear weapons.

North Korea has unveiled a series of SLBMs of its own in recent years, and is building an operational submarine to deploy them, South Korean officials have said.

“Having an SLBM has important meaning in securing protection against omnidirectional threats, and is expected to play a vital role in building self-defense capability and peace on the Korean peninsula,” Moon’s office said in a statement.

Officials did not elaborate on the SLBM’s specifications, but the Yonhap news agency has said that it has been codenamed the Hyunmu 4-4 as a variant of the country’s Hyunmu-2B ballistic missile, which can travel at about 500 km. (311 miles) can travel.

The SLBM’s unveiling comes after the Defense Ministry and the military declined for years to confirm the program, citing security and intelligence concerns.

Moon’s office said the military has developed other new missiles, including a supersonic cruise missile to be deployed in the near future, and a new ballistic missile that has “tremendous retaliatory capability” by firing a large warhead.

It said the military successfully test-fired a solid fuel propulsion system used for space vehicles in July.

South Korea is also trying to develop a solid-fuel rocket engine as part of plans to launch a military spy satellite by the end of 2020.

South Korea is seeking to develop increasingly powerful missiles, inspired by the end of the Joint Missile Guidelines with the United States, which Moon and President Joe Biden agreed to during a summit in May.

The missiles are intended to target heavily fortified bunkers and tunnels in North Korea, while removing South Korea from military dependence on the United States, which deploys about 28,500 troops and state-of-the-art strategic and conventional military systems in South Korea.

This month, the Defense Ministry released its blueprint for 2022-2026 to develop the new missile https://www.reuters.com/world/skorea-says-it-is-developing-more-powerful-missiles-deter -nkorea- 2021-09-02 “With significantly increased destructive power”.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Lincoln Feast)

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