January 14, 2021 12:19
South Korea completed dry tests of the country's first submarine-launched ballistic missile late last year and is now planning to conduct underwater tests.
The development lags behind North Korea, which has been developing its own SLBMs with much longer ranges since 2015.
A new 3,000-ton submarine that will be delivered to the Navy in March is expected to conduct the tests. "Underwater tests will be carried out this year," a military source said Wednesday. "But the specific dates haven't been fixed yet. If North Korea fires an SLBM as a provocation, the tests will come sooner."
The missile has a range of about 500 km and is a remodeled version of the Hyunmu-2B ballistic missile.
Development of the home-made SLBM started as a direct response to Pyongyang's successful test of SLBMs. The North has so far succeeded in testing the Pukguksong-1 with a range of 1,300 km and Pukguksong-3 with a range of about 2,000 km.
During a military parade last October, North Korea unveiled a new, bigger SLBM which can apparently carry multiple warheads.
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