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(2nd LD) Moon inspects test firing of new missile in warning to N. Korea

All News 15:45 June 23, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional remarks from the president in paras 8-9; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, June 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in watched the test-firing of a home-grown missile with a range of 800 kilometers Friday, also sending a strong warning to North Korea and its evolving missile provocations.

"The president's inspection of the test firing was aimed at sending a clear warning against North Korea's repeated provocations," Park Soo-hyun, a spokesman for the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, told reporters.

The new missile, Hyunmoo-2, is said to have a range of up to 800 kilometers, enough to reach any part of North Korea.

President Moon Jae-in (third from L) watches the test firing of the new Hyunmoo-2 ballistic missile, a home-grown missile said to have a range of 800 kilometers, at a test site of the Agency for Defense Development in Anheung, 200 kilometers southwest of Seoul, on June 23, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae)

"It will be a key component in our kill chain to counter possible North Korean missile attacks," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said, adding the new missile was set to be deployed after two more test fires. Friday's test fire marked the fourth of its kind. It took place at a test site of its state developer, the Agency for Defense Development, in Anheung, located some 200 kilometers southwest of Seoul.

President Moon said his trip to the ADD site was also aimed at confirming the country's own defense capabilities for the South Korean people, as well as himself.

"I too have been curious, but now I have personally confirmed that the people may be at ease," Moon said, according to his spokesman.

North Korea has test-fired five ballistic missiles, including a new intermediate-range missile, since the South Korean president came into office last month.

"I support dialogue. But dialogue is possible when supported by strong defense capabilities and our engagement policy too will be possible when we have security capabilities that can overwhelm North Korea," the president told ADD officials, according to Park.

"In that sense, I believe the weapons systems ADD is developing are the means to enable dialogue and peace, instead of means to destroy or kill, and so you well deserve to take pride in ensuring our security with the strength of science," he added.

Moon has stressed a need to impose additional, stronger sanctions on the communist state if the North tests an intercontinental ballistic missile or conducts its sixth nuclear test.

The Hyunmoo is an indigenously developed missile. South Korea began producing the Hyunmoo-3C with a range of up to 1,500 kilometers in 2010.


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