SEOUL, Sept. 15 (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 in an effort to better counter the growing threats from North Korea.
The South Korean missile test took place the same day North Korea fired a pair of ballistic missiles off its east coast, violating UN sanctions and exacerbating regional tensions just days after testing a cruise missile with possible nuclear capabilities. Read more
President Moon Jae-in witnessed an SLBM underwater ejection test aboard the new 3,000-ton Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine that was commissioned last month, his office said.
The test would make South Korea the first country to launch it without nuclear weapons, which are typically used to arm SLBMs, after the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and India .
North Korea has unveiled a series of its own SLBMs in recent years and is building an operational submarine to deploy them, Seoul officials said.
“Possession of an SLBM has important significance in providing deterrence against omnidirectional threats, and it should play a key role in building self-defense and peace capacity on the Korean Peninsula,” the office said. Moon in a statement.
The military has also developed other new missiles, including a supersonic cruise missile which will be deployed in the near future, and a new ballistic missile with “overwhelming counterattack capability” by firing a larger warhead, Moon’s office said.
He added that the military had successfully conducted a fire test of a solid fuel propulsion system for space vehicles in July.
Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Lincoln Feast.
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