The Korean peninsula has seen yet another missile launch, as the South tests a new model reportedly capable of striking any target within the confines of North Korea.
On Wednesday, South Korea successfully test fired two ballistic missiles, which were domestically constructed, according to ABC News. The first missile boasted an effective range of 500 kilometers (300 miles), and was test fired from a launch pad in South Korea. The second, launched from the same pad, is intended to shoot down any incoming enemy missiles. According to an anonymous official with Seoul’s Defense Ministry, South Korean president Park Geun-hye observed the missile test.
“The military tested two home-developed, long-range missiles that could hit any target in North Korea,” the official asserted.
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The test comes after months of aggressive posturing by North Korea, which has conducted several missile tests of its own. Earlier this year, North Korea made headlines when it claimed to have successfully test fired a ballistic missile from a submarine off its coast. As the Inquisitr previously reported, that claim has widely been debunked by international experts.
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North Korea also asserted last month that it had successfully miniaturized nuclear weapons, a development that would significantly expand its tactical capabilities. While foreign experts remain skeptical about the claim, they concede that North Korea has indeed made progress toward their goal of developing nuclear armed ballistic missiles.
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South Korea’s new missile is capable of carrying a payload of up to one ton. As Yahoo News points out, the South operates under an agreement with the United States that limits its missile capabilities, allowing only for weapons that can carry payloads of 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) a distance of 300 kilometers. In exchange, the United States keeps over 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea, while guaranteeing protection in case of an attack.
The new missiles were developed under a 2012 agreement between the United States and South Korea which allows Seoul to possess armaments that can reach 800 kilometers (500 miles). That accord will nearly triple the size of South Korea’s missile capability when fully implemented. The structure of the agreement also incorporates an inverse payload limit, which allows shorter range missiles to carry larger amounts of weight.
United States forces, along with South Korea’s missile capabilities, serve as a deterrent against North Korea, as the peninsula remains technically engaged in a war that began in 1950.
[Photo by Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images]