South Korea tests ballistic missile that can target entire North – report
South Korea has reportedly achieved a goal it set four years ago and successfully developed a ballistic missile with a range of 800 kilometers, which is sufficient to hit any target in North Korean territory from anywhere in the South.
“There was a test-firing recently of a Hyunmoo-type ballistic missile with a range of 800km at the Anheung test site of the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) under the wing of the Defense Ministry,” Yonhap news agency cited a defense source as saying on Tuesday, adding “It’s assessed that it was successful.”
The source said that South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo had overseen the missile test, which reportedly met specifications for accuracy, flight parameters, and warhead yield, though it added the test flight had been shorter than 800 kilometers due to South Korea’s space limitations.
The South Korean Defense Ministry would neither confirm nor deny the success of the test, saying the official name of the missile, which has been in development since 2012, would be published when it is deployed.
South Korea has been under the protection of the US military for decades, but the agreements between the two countries set a limit on the specifications of missiles Seoul could develop until 2012, when Washington allowed the South to review the limitations as Seoul sought domestic deterrence to North Korea.
The Korean military set a goal of almost tripling the range of its missiles, from 300 to 800 kilometers, with a 500-kilogram payload. With this range, South Korea could hit targets anywhere in North Korea, even if launched from sites in the southernmost part of the country, like the island of Jeju.
The Hyunmoo-2B missile, which has a range of 500 kilometers, was successfully tested in April of 2014. Seoul also has the long-range Hyunmoo-3 cruise missile, which can deliver a 500-kilogram warhead up to 1,000 kilometers away, while an upgraded version currently in development is expected to reach a range of 1,500 kilometers.