September 18, 2017 12:33
The military fired two Hyunmu-2A missiles on Friday in response to North Korea's missile launches earlier that day, but one sputtered into the ocean.
The Hyunmu-2A is a home-made missile developed to respond to the North Korean missile threats and comprises the core of the South's "kill chain" preemptive strike system. Each missile costs around W2 billion (US$1=W1,132).
The military fired the Hyunmu-2A missiles from a base in Gangwon Province at around 7 a.m., just about six minutes after North Korea launched what is believed to have been a Hwasong-12 missile from Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang. It was a swift response made while the Hwasong-12 was still in flight.
Previous South Korean missile responses came hours or days after a North Korean launch. The military had prepared the Hyunmu-2As in advance after detecting an impending North Korean missile launch.
But only one missile traveled 250 km, which is the distance to Sunan airport, while the other one crashed for unknown reasons into the East Sea. "We had issued alerts, so there were no ships in the area of the crash," a military source said.
The Hyunmu-2A is an early version of the Hyunmu series of anti-missile systems. The Hyunmu-2B has a range of 500 km and the Hyunmu-2C can travel up to 800 km.
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