South Korea Mulls Ballistic Missile Test

February 16, 2017

The Diplomat

In response to Pyongyang’s recent intermediate-range launch, Seoul is considering test firing a ballistic missile.

The South Korean military is mulling test firing a ballistic missile in response to North Korea’s recent missile test, a military official told Yonhap News Agency.

“In response to North Korea’s missile launch Sunday, we are reviewing measures to discard security concerns and show our determination to retaliate against any aggression by the North,” he said.

According to the military official, the South Korean government is considering test launching missiles of the Hyunmoo (현무, which literally means “Guardian of the Northern Sky”) missile family, including the Hyunmoo 2A and 2B ballistic missile.

The Hyunmoo 2A is a surface-to-surface missile with an estimated range of 300 kilometers. The more advanced Hyunmoo 2B has an estimated maximum range of 500 kilometers (310 miles) and is capable of carrying a payload of up of up to 997 kilograms (2,200 pounds). The Hyunmoo 2B was last test fired in June 2015.

The state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD) is purportedly also working on a new longer range ballistic missile, which also could be test launched in due time. “There is also an opinion in the military that it will be more effective to unveil the test-firing scene of a new 800 km ballistic missile, which is in the final stage of development,” the military official said.

South Korea could also test fire a submarine-launched ballistic missile, which has been under development by the ADD for some time and allegedly has been specifically designed for  Republic of Korea Navy KSS-III (aka Jangbogo III)-class diesel-electric attack submarines.

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