The South Korean military successfully tested a new submarine-fired ballistic missile in the presence of its president just hours after Pyongyang fired rockets into the sea off Japan.
On Wednesday, South Korea 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 were a landmark for the country’s defense program. The president’s office said in a statement that SLBM is expected to play a major role in the country’s self-defense.
Moon congratulated the military on the achievement, which is intended to make South Korea only the seventh nation 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.
The missile was launched from underwater and flew properly before hitting the target with precision, the president’s office said. The launch was also praised in local stores and noted how the ability to operate SLBM 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 nations, including the United Kingdom, the United States, China and Russia.
Also on Wednesday, a presidential announcement said that a separate successful test of a long-range air-to-surface missile was carried out. The missile will be mounted on KAI KF-21 Boramae fighter aircraft.
The announcement came hours after South Korea’s joint chief of staff and the Japanese Coast Guard said North Korea had fired two projectiles into the sea. The projectiles, believed to be ballistic missiles, landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
On Monday, North Korean state media said the country had successfully tested a new long-range cruise missile. The move was condemned by Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. North Korea is clearly a threat “Its neighbors and the international community” at the Pentagon.
Last week, it was reported that South Korea test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine. The Ministry of Defense refused to confirm whether this happened or not.
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