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(LEAD) S. Korea succeeds in test of 800 km-range new missile: source

2017/04/06 08:28

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with deal on missile range extension, other details)

By Lee Chi-dong and Lee Young-jae

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has successfully test-launched a new 800-kilometer range ballistic missile that can reach anywhere in North Korea, defense sources said Thursday.

It could send another strong warning message to North Korea, which is continuing its nuclear and missile development in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, they said.

"There was a test-firing recently of a Hyunmoo-type ballistic missile with a range of 800 km at the Anheung test site of the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) under the wing of the Defense Ministry," an informed source said. "It's assessed that it was successful."

   Defense Minister Han Min-koo inspected the test, in which the missile met the key requirements of normal blast, flight and the accuracy of hitting a target, added the source.

A test-launch of the Hyunmoo-2B missile in 2015 in this file photo. (Yonhap) A test-launch of the Hyunmoo-2B missile in 2015 in this file photo. (Yonhap)

But the ADD shortened the flight range, however, due to the space limit.

If deployed, the South's new missile would cover all of North Korea even when fired from a southern region.

Fired from the southern island of Jeju, it is capable of reaching Sinuiju, a North Korean city bordering China.

South Korea's missile inventory includes the Hyunmoo-2A ballistic missile, with a range of more than 300 km, and the Hyunmoo-2B that can fly over 500 km, plus the Hyunmoo-3 cruise missile with a range of 1,000 km.

The news of the successful test came a day after North Korea test-launched another mid-range ballistic missile into the East Sea.

The South's military announced that it will constantly enhance its "deterrence capability" against the North's nuclear and missile programs.

"(We) gravely warn that North Korea's reckless provocation is a path toward the collapse of its regime," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. "Our troops maintain a firm posture for an immediate response to any kind of provocation by North Korea."

   In 2012, South Korea struck a deal with its ally the U.S. to extend the range of its ballistic missiles to 800 km, more than double the previous 300 km, amid the North's saber-rattling.

The maximum payload remains limited to 500 kilograms.

lcd@yna.co.kr

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