October 02, 2015 09:41
South Korea will deploy a new ballistic missile with a range of 800 km warfare-ready by 2017.
A government source said the Agency for Defense Development has targeted 2017 as the year for extending South Korea's ballistic missile range to 800 km.
If launched from Jeju Island, a missile with a range of 800 km could reach Sinuiju on the North Korea-China border, and if fired from an area south of Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province it could hit anywhere along the Duman River.
South Korea was restricted from having missiles with a range longer than 300 km under an agreement with the U.S., but that was extended to 800 km in 2012. Last year Seoul succeeded in developing a ballistic missile with a range of 500 km and in early June this year tested another 500-km missile.
South Korea aims for a so-called "kill chain," whereby the military can detect signs of an impending missile launch by North Korea and preemptively destroy it. It also includes purchasing Global Hawk long-range, high-altitude unmanned reconnaissance aircraft in 2018 and 2019.
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