The South Korean military successfully tested a new submarine-launched ballistic missile in the presence of its president just hours after Pyongyang fired rockets at sea off Japan.
South Korea on Wednesday confirmed that its military had tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) near its Defense Development Agency (ADD) in South Chungcheong Province.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in was present for the tests, which marked a milestone for the country’s defense program. The president’s office said in a statement that the SLBM is expected to play a major role in the country’s self-defense.
Moon praised the military for the achievement, which is expected to make South Korea the seventh country to conduct an SLBM test launch. The missile, developed in South Korea and delivered to the Navy on August 13, was launched from a Dosan Ahn Changho-class submarine.
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The missile was launched from the water and followed its path correctly before hitting the target accurately, the president’s office said. The launch was also praised in local outlets, highlighting how the ability to operate SLBMs from submarine assets was of great strategic value. It was noted that the weapons system is particularly difficult to develop and is only operated by six other countries, including the UK, US, China and Russia.
Also on Wednesday, a presidential announcement said another successful test of a long-range air-to-surface missile had been carried out. The missile will be mounted on the KAI KF-21 Boramae fighter plane.
The announcement came just hours after South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Japanese Coast Guard said North Korea had fired two projectiles into the sea. The projectiles, which are believed to be ballistic missiles, landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
North Korea’s state media on Monday said the country had successfully tested a new long-range cruise missile. This decision has been denounced by Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. North Korea is clearly a threat to “Its neighbors and the international community”, said the Pentagon.
Last week, it was reported that South Korea had tested a ballistic missile from a submarine. The Defense Ministry declined to confirm whether or not this had happened.
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