Fri, Apr 07, 2017 - Page 6 News List

South Korea tested long-range ballistic missile: Yonhap


South Korea has tested a long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching anywhere in North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported yesterday, one day after the North drew condemnation for launching another projectile.

The South Korean missile, with a range of 800km, was tested recently and met key flight and accuracy requirements, Yonhap reported, citing an unidentified source.

A spokesman for the South Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff declined to comment on the report at a regular briefing in Seoul.

If confirmed, the test risks raising tensions with China, which protested South Korea’s recent move to allow the US to install an anti-missile system in its territory.

South Korea is bolstering its defense capabilities as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s regime works toward developing long-range, nuclear-tipped missiles.

“This is Seoul’s first missile with an 800km range and it will give South Korea the ability to put its launchers in the south out of range of North Korean missiles,” J. Michael Cole, senior nonresident fellow at the University of Nottingham’s China Policy Institute and former Taipei Times deputy news editor, said in Taipei. “The thought of any country in Asia that can fire a missile that can come close to China’s border is never going to be welcomed by Chinese leadership.”

At the same time, China is more concerned about the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile system than South Korea’s missile development, because the shield could “at some point play a role in interfering with China’s ability to fire its own missiles,” he said.

South Korea has been developing ballistic missiles with an 800km range since 2012, the joint chiefs of staff spokesman said.

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