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South Korea developing submarine-launched ballistic missile, says report


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<p>South Korea is developing a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) based on its 500 km-range Hyeonmu-2B (also spelled Hyunmoo-2B) ballistic missile, with underwater test launches set to be carried out later this year, according to local media reports.</p>
<p>The Yonhap News Agency quoted an unnamed military source as saying that ejection tests of the missile conducted on land – presumably at the at the Agency for Defense Development’s (ADD’s) Anheung test site in Taean County – were completed in 2020, adding that developers will now “move on to the next stage of conducting underwater test launches”.</p>
<p>The missiles, which are to be fitted with conventional warheads, are expected to be deployed with 3,000 tonne-class or larger submarines, said the source, adding that Seoul has yet to decide exactly when and on which platform to carry out the initial test launches.</p>
<div class=”container”> <img src=”[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]b3093111-92f4-41ac-937e-fee430961bf6?sfvrsn=dffd704b_2″ alt=”A screengrab of computer-generated imagery taken from a Hanwha Systems promotional video released in November 2019 showing what appears to be a KSS III-class submarine firing an SLBM. South Korean media reported on 13 January that Seoul has been developing an SLBM and is expected to conduct underwater test launches later this year. (Hanwha Systems)”> <p class=”text-body text-sm-center text-muted small”>A screengrab of computer-generated imagery taken from a Hanwha Systems promotional video released in November 2019 showing what appears to be a KSS III-class submarine firing an SLBM. South Korean media reported on 13 January that Seoul has been developing an SLBM and is expected to conduct underwater test launches later this year. (Hanwha Systems)</p></div>
<p>Yonhap quoted the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Seoul as refusing to confirm the statements made by the source, saying only, ”Our military has secured advanced high-power assets, such as missiles, to support peace on the Korean Peninsula and will continue to develop them.”</p>
<p>The latest developments come after South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) displayed a model of the 3,000-tonne KSS III (also spelled KSS-3) submarine class at the International Maritime Defense Industry Exhibition (MADEX) 2019 in Busan, confirming that these indigenously developed attack submarines have been designed with a capability to launch SLBMs. </p>
<p>First-of-class </p>